The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has re-arraigned former Governor of Plateau, Jonah Jang, and a cashier at the Office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Yusuf Pam, on alleged N6.3 billion fraud.
The defendants were first arraigned in June 2018 on 17-count charges bordering on misappropriation of funds, criminal breach of trust and corrupt advantages.
EFCC says the alleged offences contravene the provisions of sections 315, 309, 19 and 22(5) of the Penal Code Law and Corrupt Practices Act 2004, (as amended).
In 2018, Justice Daniel Longji, on his last sitting on the bench on December 29, 2019, dismissed the defendants’ no-case-submission, and held that the defendants had a case to answer.
The state’s chief judge, Justice Yakubu Dakwak, subsequently reassigned the case to Justice Christy Dabup of Court IV for continuation of trial.
At the resumed hearing on Monday before Justice Dabup, EFCC’s Counsel, A.O. Otolade, applied for the fresh arraignment of the two defendants since the case was starting de-no-vo (afresh).
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Otolade then applied for an adjournment to enable the prosecution prepare for its case against the defendants.
But Jang’s lawyer, Edward Pwajok, opposed the application for adjournment and pleaded with the court to allow the bail earlier granted his clients on May 24, 2018, to continue.
Pam’s lawyer agreed with Mr Pwajok.
EFCC’s counsel did not object to their pleas but urged the court to order the sureties to produce affidavits to show that they were still standing for the defendants.