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Ex-Taraba Governor, Jolly Nyame Bags 14 Years Jail Term Over Corruption

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A Federal High court sitting in Abuja has sentenced a former Taraba state Governor, Jolly Nyame, to 14 years in prison without an option of fine.

Justice Adebukola Bankole slammed Nyame the jail term Wednesday as he was found guilty of 27 out of 41 counts of alleged diversion of public funds while he served as the Governor of the North central State between 1999 and 2007.

Nyame was arraigned before court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegedly diverting the sum of N1.64 billion while in office.

Justice Bankole sentenced the defendant to four different terms in prison, after finding him guilty of receiving gratification, obtaining public funds without due consideration, criminal breach of trust and gratification.

Reports say the various sentences include a time of prison for two, five, seven and 14 years respectively.

The judge ruled that the terms are expected to run concurrently, implying that he would serve 14 years in jail, unless the conviction is upturned by a higher court or appeal court.

The Wednesday ruling by Justice Bankole which lasted over four hours recalled several witnesses brought to court by both parties, corroborating the allegation of fraud against the defendant.

The EFCC, she held presented various witnesses who alluded to the fact that Nyame approved the diversion of various funds amounting to over N345 million to a company, Saman global, within five weeks in 2005, among other allegations.

Despite claims by Nyame that he never knew the said company, the court found him guilty of breaching public trust after noting that the ex-Governor confirmed approving the memo wherein the order for the transfer of the funds was made.

Consequently, Justice Bankole held that Nyame was guilty of over half of the charges. The judge likened the former governor’s case to the ”story of Alibaba and the 40 thieves”.

 

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