N1.3bn scam: ex-Governor Nyame of Taraba denies own statement

Jolly Nyame

Nyame says the statements were made under duress.

A former governor of Taraba State, Jolly Nyame, has added a new twist to his ongoing trial at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, as he told the court, presided over by Adebukola Banjoko, that the statements he made in June 2007 to the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, were made under duress.

The former governor, who was first arraigned in 2007 by the EFCC, is facing a 41-count charge of criminal breach of trust and mismanagement of funds totaling N1.36 billion.

At the resumed hearing, which held from Monday to Thursday, Mr. Nyame, through his lawyer, H.T Fajimite, opposed the tendering of the statements he made during interrogation in 2007 on the grounds that they were made under duress, threat and promise of an advantage and hence, should not be admitted.

His opposition to the tendering of the document came during the cross examination of Galadima Ibrahim, a member of the investigating team.

In his reaction, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, noted that the statements were made voluntarily and without any form of duress. He stated that opposing the admissibility of the document was simply a time wasting ploy by the defence.

Mr. Banjoko said it was necessary to determine the voluntariness or otherwise of the statements.

Another witness, Ilyasu Kwarbai, who was the head of the team that investigated the case, told the court that the accused person was neither threatened nor harassed and that he was released around 4:00 p.m. after his interrogation. He denied that there were contradictions in any of the testimonies of the witnesses and the case diary. The defence had prayed the court to compel prosecution team to produce the case diary to prove otherwise.

Mr. Banjoko ordered the defence team to come formally by filing the necessary applications and furnish same to the prosecution while fixing June 12, 2013 for adoption of all written addresses.

Mr. Nyame’s case, like many others, has suffered setbacks through frivolous applications and injunctions aimed at delaying trial.

It would be recalled that Mr. Nyame’s application was dismissed at the Supreme Court in 2010 where he was ordered to return to the FCT High Court to face his trial.


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