On Friday, the Plateau High Court in Jos dismissed corruption accusations brought against ex-governor Jonah Jang by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
His co-defendant, a former cashier in the office of the Secretary to the State Government, was likewise found not guilty by the court.
Both Mr. Jang, a sitting senator, and Yusuf Pam, a former gang member, have been on trial since May 4, 2018.
The EFCC had filed 17 counts against them for allegedly misusing public monies.
Christen Dabup, the judge who handed down the verdict, stated that he and his colleagues had found no evidence to support the charges against Messrs. Jang and Pam.
She then announced that the court had found the defendants not guilty of all charges and that they were so dismissed and acquitted.
Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who represented the defendant, claimed the court had found no evidence to support any of the 17 counts against him.
Mr. Ozekhome, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), stated that the EFCC‘s allegations that the previous military governor of Benue and old Gongola had misused the funds were baseless without evidence of such misuse.
This man, who has served the state admirably, has been through hell for the past four and a half years, from May 4, 2018 till now, September 2.
However, the truth has now been revealed: the previous governor of Plateau did not take even one Kobo from the state’s treasury.
The court stated that it had found nothing suspicious in any of the man’s dealings: with his family, coworkers, clients, or acquaintances.
He questioned where the “phantom money” was that had been stolen by the individual.
Mr. Ozokhome claimed there was no proof Jang had stolen the money, which was a loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
All of the state’s top officials, he said, had their spending approved by the Plateau State Assembly, as required by the law.
Oluwaleke Atolagbe, lawyer for the EFCC, stated that his office had not yet received a copy of the judgment.
Mr. Atolagbe said they would examine the ruling to determine whether or not they could file an appeal.
Reports say EFCC plans to challenge the ruling in court.
Later on Friday, EFCC issued a statement saying it has begun the process of appealing the verdict.
“The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to the judgment of Justice C.L Dabup of the Plateau State High Court sitting in Jos on Friday, September 2, 2022, discharging and acquitting a former governor of Plateau State, Senator Jonah David Jang, and a former cashier in the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, OSSG, Yusuf Pam, of the seventeen-count charge of conspiracy to commit criminal breach of
A commission spokesperson said, “The commission has immediately begun the Appeal processes.”