November 18, 2019

EFCC vs Jang: Withness exonerates Jang as court adjourns to Dec 17

Jonah Jang

Ex-Governor of Plateau state, Jonah Jang

Ex-Governor of Plateau state, Jonah Jang

By Marie-Therese Nanlong

Lead Counsel to Senator Jonah Jang in the ongoing trial in an alleged N6.2bn fraud, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN has intimated the court that he was going to make a no-case submission after all the witnesses and documents exonerated his client (Jang) from financial misdeeds.

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Ozekhome maintained that no case has been established against his client (Jang) who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to warrant his indictment by the court.

He told the court that they needed 14 days to write the formal no-case submission because of the volume of exhibits and documents tendered at the proceedings which they have to go through.

A witness, PW9, Mr. Nanman Abok, who was present in court yesterday, was taken through all the documents and exhibits concerning him and his office as the Principal Administrative Officer in government and he exonerated Jang from financial misappropriation.

Taking him round exhibits 47, 48, 49 and 50, Abok said there was no time the governor approved money to be expended in the state which he said approval was done by possibly the Deputy Governor, Senator Ignatius Longjan during their tenure on behalf of the government of the day, adding that those monies were deliberated upon at the State House of Assembly after which they were approved and passed into law.

He added, through cross examination by Ozekhome that the governor thereafter was now free to expend the monies so approved and passed into law by the House explaining that with the approval by the House, the governor was empowered to use the monies including other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), adding that the governor did not need to go back to the House again when he wanted to pay salaries.

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The witness also disclosed that Exhibit PA page 6 which involved N220billion Micro – Small and Medium Entreprises MOU was signed by Longjan for the state while the CBN Governor Geoffrey Emefiele signed for the bank.

Before adjourning the matter to December 17, for adoption in the no – case submission which the defence counsel of Yusuf Pam, Mr. Samuel Adeniyi Oguntuyi, associated himself with, the trial judge, Justice Daniel Longji granted the first and second defendants 14 days to file the no – case submission while the prosecution was given 10 days to file composite response.

Ozekhome, while speaking with journalists at the end of the session, said that all the funds that are in the issues in the case are all government to government borrowing which are all permitted by law, and permitted by the executive council.