Ex-Taraba state governor, Jolly Nyame.
Former Taraba Gov. Jolly Nyame on Monday admitted in an FCT High Court, Gudu, Abuja, that the payment voucher for N24.3 million issued for grains in 2005 had no recipient’s name on it.
Nyame admitted during a cross examination by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) prosecuting counsel Rotimi Jacobs.
The former governor is facing trial for allegedly misappropriating N1.64 billion during his tenure as the state governor from 1999 to 2007.
Nyame said he had given directive for his Permanent Secretary, Mr Dennis Nev, to raise a memo for the purchase of grains for the people of Taraba in 2005.
“The memo was raised and itemised to the total sum of N24.3 million and the purchase was to be made through direct labour,’’ he said.
He said he directed that the money be released to Taraba liaison office Abuja, while the recipient was to be Mr Japheth Wubon, the then permanent secretary in Abuja.
The prosecution established that the sum was approved by the Accountant-General of the state on July 8, 2005, same day the payment voucher was raised.
The payment voucher was produced in court and given for Nyame to identify the recipient of the money with date and signature, but there was none.
“Nobody received it,’’ Nyame said.
Jacobs also told the court that the Permanent Secretary, Mr Dennis Nev, who Nyame directed to receive the money in Abuja, had given evidence in court that he gave the money to Nyame.
Jacobs also said that the accountant in Abuja liaison office, Mr Mohammed Abdurahman, had also testified that they took the money to Nyame in Abuja.
The prosecution said that Dennis Nev gave evidence that there was no purchase of grains at all.
Earlier, Jacobs had refreshed memory of the former governor by producing the statements he made in 2007 to the EFCC in court.
In the statement, Nyame wrote that the purchase was made by a supplier and paid for in cash.
“The rice was purchased from Lagos from a rice supplier; I can’t remember the name of the company now but will provide the details later.
“The sum of N24.3 million was paid to the supplier cash,’’ Nyame read from his statements to the EFCC investigator in June 2007.
When asked if he had ever fulfilled his promise of giving the details of the company that supplied the grains, Nyame said it was because he was never asked.
Jacobs also said that during Nyame’s examination by his counsel, Nyame had denied having anything to do with Taraba funds, saying his responsibilities stopped at approval of memos.
The prosecution also raised the issue bordering on Nyame’s failure to make adequate declaration of his assets and liabilities to the EFCC during investigations.
The forms on asset declaration which he made to the EFCC were tendered in court, in which he had written “nil’’ to cash at hand and at bank.
Jacobs established that the Code of Conduct declaration he filed in 1999 and 2004, which was produced in court, showed his assets and bank account details which was contradictory to the EFCC investigations.
Justice Adebukola Banjoko adjourned further cross examinations until Oct. 4.(NAN)