N1.64b fraud: Supreme court upholds Ex-Taraba gov 12-year jail term

N1.64b fraud: Supreme court upholds Ex-Taraba gov 12-year jail term

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The supreme court has upheld the judgment of the court of appeal which jailed Jolly Nyame, a former governor of Taraba State 12-years imprisonment.

JOLLY NYAME

Justice Amina Augie, a judge, upheld the verdict of the appellate court.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had charged Nyame with abuse of office.

He was accused of diverting N1.64 billion during his tenure as governor of Taraba between 1999 and 2007.

Having stood trial for about 11 years, Adebukola Banjoko, judge of a federal Capital territory high court in Gudu, convicted Nyame on May 30, 2018 and sentenced him to 14 years in prison.

The former governor had appealed the judgment of the trial court and the jail term was reduced to 12 years. He had headed to the apex court.

But, a five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, in its unanimous judgment, set aside the N100m fine imposed on him by the Court of Appeal.

Delivering the lead judgment of the court on Nyame’s appeal, Justice Amina Augie, held that the Court of Appeal was wrong to have imposed the fine on him without hearing from the appellant.

“The lower court ought to have heard from the parties, especially, the appellant who appealed for the reduction of the sentence imposed by the trial court, before imposing those fines on him,” Justice Augie ruled.

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She, however, affirmed the guilt and conviction of the ex-governor by upholding the Court of Appeal’s reduction of the 14 years’ imprisonment to 12 years.

The judge, who held that the ex-governor’s appeal succeeded in part, ruled saying, “Allowing the appeal in its entirety is a tall order, but there is no question that the fines were a nullity.

Nyame’s appeal was against the November 16, 2018 judgment of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal which had affirmed Nyame’s conviction by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the FCT High Court had on May 30, 2018, convicted Nyame on a total of 27 out of the 41 corruption charges involving about N1.6bn preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

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