An Abuja High Court has ordered a former governor of Taraba State, Jolly Nyame, to begin his defence on March 8, after dismissing his application for a “no-case” submission.
Mr. Nyame, who served as governor between 1999 and 2007, is facing a 41-count charge of criminal misappropriation of N1.64bn state funds.
He had made the application for a no-case submission on January 18.
His counsel, Charles Edosomwan, SAN, had urged the court to “hold that the testimony of prosecution witnesses have been so damaged and can’t be relied on”, and that “the crucial elements are missing in this case”.
At the resumed sitting on Tuesday, the trial judge, Justice Adebukola Banjoko, citing sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, noted that it was in order for a defendant to apply to the court for a “no-case” submission, but the “court shall have discretion whether essential elements of the offence have been proven or not”.
“In relation to this court, having had a close look at the evidence and exhibits, I hold that this case requires him to provide information and give explanation with regards to evidence presented by the prosecution, and so he is ordered to enter into his defence in the interest of justice,” the judge held.