Alleged N6.3bn fraud:Court discharges, acquits ex Gov Jang, Pam *EFCC appeal judgment

Justice C.L Dabup of the Plateau State High Court sitting in Jos, has discharged and acquitted former governor of Plateau State, Senator Jonah David Jang of 17 count charges bordering on alleged N6.3 billion fraud.

Also discharged and acquitted are a former cashier in the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, OSSG , Yusuf Pam.

But EFCC said in a statement yesterday that it has initiated processes for an appeal against the judgment immediately.

The EFCC dragged the duo to court over 17 count charges bothering on diversification and misappropriation of the said state funds.

The trial court Judge, Justice Christen Dabup who delivered the judgement, said that the court did not found Jang and Pam guilty of any of the charges.

“The court did not find the accused persons guilty of any of the charges and they are hereby discharged and acquitted,” she said.

Reacting to judgment, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), the defense counsel, said that the court found no merit whatsoever in any of the 17 count charges.

Ozekhome said that EFCC charges were nothing but lies without proof that the former military governor of Benue and old Gongola diverted the said money to personal use.

“So literally between May 4, 2018 and today Sept. 2, this man who served the state meritoriously has been undergoing torturous and harrowing experience for about four and a half years of trial and tribulations.

“But today justice came out and the court found out that the former governor did not steal a Kobo from Plateau Government coffers.

“The court said that it did not find with this man, whether in his personal account, whether in his office, whether with his children, whether with his wife, whether with his relations, whether with his friends.

“So where was this phantom money you said that this man stole?” he asked.

Ozokhome said that there was no evidence that the money which was a loan from Central Bank of Nigeria was taken by Plateau Government was stolen by Jang.

According to him, there were evidence that the money was duly utilised with all the heads of government validated by the Plateau State House of Assembly under an enabling and extant law.

EFCC Counsel, Mr Oluwaleke Atolagbe said that they were yet to receive written copy of the judgement.

Atolagbe said that they would review the judgment and see whether there were grounds for appeal.

But in a statement yesterday EFCC has initiated processes for an Appeal immediately.