By Idowu Joseph
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday arraigned a former Plateau State governor, Senator David Jonah Jang, before Justice Daniel Longji of the Plateau State High Court sitting in Jos.
He was therefore charged on a 12-count bordering on misappropriation of funds to the tune of N6.3 billion.
EFCC is a statement said Jang, a serving senator, allegedly embezzled special funds released to the state by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) two months to the end of his tenure as governor in 2015.
Jang, according to the statement allegedly pocketed N2 billion released by the apex bank for disbursement to small and medium enterprises in the State under the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Funds (MSMEDF) just a month before the expiration of his tenure in 2015.
The anti-graft agency said the suspect abused his office as the governor by collecting money to the tune of N4.3billion from the state coffers through the cashier of the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Yusuf Gyang Pam.
Jang was docked alongside Pam, who was also accused of using his office for personal enrichment to the tune of N11.5million.
Count eight of the charge reads: “That you, Jang, whilst being the Governor of Plateau State between January and May, 2015 in Jos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, used your office as Governor of the State to confer unfair advantage upon yourself by collecting the sum of N4 billion, three hundred and fifty-seven million, one hundred and ninety-five thousand naira, from the cashier of the Office of the Secretary to the Plateau State Government, and which sum was derived from the account of Plateau State Government, and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000”.
Particulars of count nine read: “That you, Yusuf Gyang Pam, whilst being a cashier at the Office of the Secretary to the Plateau State Government on 11th July, 2014 in Jos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, used your office as cashier at the Office of Secretary to the Plateau State Government to confer corrupt advantage upon yourself by making a cash lodgment of the sum of N10 million into your personal account with Zenith Bank and which sum was derived from the account of Plateau State Government , and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000”.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge. Counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, asked the court to fix a date for hearing and to remand the suspects in prison custody pending trial.
However, Robert Clarke, SAN, representing the defendants informed the court that, he had a pending “bail application for the 1st and 2nd defendants”.