There was mild drama at the continuation of the trial of a former governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, on Friday as his counsel, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, disowned another defence counsel, over the line of questioning. Jang is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside Yusuf Pam, a cashier at the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, for an alleged N6.2 billion fraud.
S.A. Oguntiyi, counsel for Pam, had while cross-examining the 11th prosecution witness, Musa Sunday, an operative of the EFCC, queried the testimony of the witness, with regards to monies paid to Jang. In the statement, dated January 16, 2017 made by Pam, he had however denied any receipt of any financial benefits from the Plateau State Government except salaries as a civil servant which was less than N80,000 monthly; so where then did he get cash of N500,000?
Not only the N500,000, the second defendant during the interview had disclosed that there were several other monetary gifts passed to him by Jang. Moreover, more monies were seen amounting to N71 million in Pam’s personal account statement, Exhibit P28. The charges against Pam were not exclusive, but based on what the Legal team of the EFCC considered appropriate and as a civil servant there was no other source of income accrued to the second defendant, who is unable to prove the source of N71 million in less than four years.
Continuing with the cross-examination, Oguntiyi thereafter inquired from the witness, if he was aware that the N10 million found in the account of Pam, was a pay-off for his late wife. Expressing dismay, Sunday noted that he was hearing that for the first time, adding that: “All the findings, supporting documents, including the memos requesting for the alleged monies, the statement of account are before this honourable court as exhibit.
And noting from EFCC records, between May 3, 2015 and April 11, 2015 Jang diverted sum of monies amounting to N1.5billion for the governorship and presidential elections.