N1.64bn Fraud: EFCC Challenges Ex-Taraba Gov. Nyame’s in Court
London, Oct. 4, 2017 (AltAfrika)-Nigerian anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday confronted a former Taraba State governor, Jolly Nyame, with documents challenging his testimony and claim that he was never involved in state transactions, which formed the basis of his N1.64 billion fraud trial.
Nyame, who took to the dock to defend himself, after Justice Adebukola Banjoko, of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, Gudu, on February 14, 2017 dismissed his “no-case” submission, had exonerated himself during his evidence-in-chief, led by his counsel, Olalekan Ojo, denying all the charges.
Testifying as the 4th defence witness, the ex-Governor had on September 20, 2017 described as “the figment of his imagination”, testimony of the 8th prosecution witness, Abdulrahman Mohammed, an accountant with the state, who in court testified that he brought N24.3 million cash “meant for purchase of grains” to the former governor.
“I did not collect the sum of N24.3 million meant for grains from Abdulrahman the accountant,” Nyame said, but admitted that he signed a memo raised to purchase grains to alleviate sufferings of the people in the state.
The allegation of the diversion of N24.3 million formed one of the 41 counts bordering on stealing and diversion of state funds brought against Nyame by the EFCC, in a trial that began in 2007.
Trial of the three-time governor, recommenced September 27, 2016 after the trial judge ruled in favour of the prosecution, dismissing Nyame’s challenge of the admissibility of his statements dated June 6 and 7, 2007 and July 11, 2007
According to EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, Nyame in his statement with the agency admitted that: “On the issue of purchase of grains for onward distribution to local governments at my approval, the rice was purchased from Lagos from a supplier, but I cannot remember the name of the company and N24.3 million was paid to the supplier in cash, and grains delivered.”