Abuja – Former Gov. Jolly Nyame of Taraba, has told an FCT High Court that he did not benefit from the N450 million contract he approved for the purchase of office equipment and stationery while in office.
Nyame made the refutal on Monday when he was led in evidence by his counsel, Mr Hassan Fagimite.
The ex-governor is facing trial on alleged misappropriation of state funds to the tune of N1.64 billion while in office.
The court was told that while serving as governor, Nyame gave approval in 2004 and 2005 that N450 million be expended on bulk purchase of assorted office equipment and stationery for distribution to ministries.
Nyame also refuted the evidence given by his Commissioner for Finance, Mr Abubakar Tutare that he gave directive on how to spend the first tranche of N250 million he approved.
Tutare had testified that Nyame gave instruction that out of the first tranche of N250 million, N180 million should be paid into the account of Salman Global Ventures Ltd., for the governor’s benefit.
Tutare and other witnesses also testified that the former governor had personal dealings with the Director of Salman Global Ventures, an allegation which he also denied.
Nyame told the court that the company was selected to handle contracts based on the needs of the state and that the process of selection was handled by the ministries.
“I do not have personal contact with the contractors,’’ he said.
Nyame told the court that he considered the evidence of his former Commissioner for Finance and other witnesses as false.
He also denied the evidence given by prosecution witness number six, one Mr Umar Negari.
Negari had testified that Nyame directed Salman Global Ventures to issue a receipt in the name of the company covering the entire N250 million, including the N180 million.
Nyame told the court that he did not give approval to the effect that N165 million should be given to Salman Global for his benefit.
He also denied the allegation that he ordered that N15 million be given to the Deputy Speaker of Taraba House of Assembly while N20 million should be used for the purchases.
He also refuted the allegation made by a witness that out of the first N250 million, he directed that N70 million should be shared among civil servants in the Ministry of Finance.
The judge, Justice Adebukola Banjoko, adjourned hearing on the matter until July 4.