Friday Olokor, Jos
Justice Daniel Longji of the Plateau State High Court in Jos has ordered that a former Governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, be remanded in the prison custody till Thursday, May 24, when the court will rule on his bail application.
Also ordered to be kept in prison was a former cashier in the office of the Secretary to the Plateau State Government, Yusuf Pam.
Jang and Pam were arraigned on Wednesday before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
The 12 counts filed against them border on alleged misuse of some special funds released to Plateau State by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The EFCC claimed that they committed the offence few months to the end of Jang’s tenure as governor in 2015.
The defendants were brought to court in an unregistered hummer bus, at about 9.30am on Wednesday amid tight security.
On hand were a host of their supporters, who cheered them as they arrived the court.
Inside the courtroom, Jang, who dressed in a white Babaringa with a cap, kept smiling as the charges were being read to him and Pam.
One of the charges read: “That you, Senator Jonah David Jang, whilst being the governor of Plateau State, and Yusuf Gyang Pam, whilst being a cashier in the office of the Secretary to the Plateau State Government, between January and May 2015 in Jos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, dishonestly misappropriated certain property, to wit: an aggregate sum of N4,357, 195, belonging to the Plateau State Government and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 309 of the Penal Code Law of Northern Nigeria applicable to Plateau State.”
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the entire 12 charges.
The lead defence counsel, Chief Robert Clarke (SAN), urged the court to admit his clients to bail, pointing out that the offences alleged against them were bailable.
The prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), however, opposed the bail applications, saying the offences the defendants were charged with were “serious, bordering on corruption. None of these offences attracts less than five years’ imprisonment.”
After taking arguments from the two sides, Justice Longji adjourned till May 24 to rule on the bail applications.
The judge ordered that the defendants should be remanded in the prison custody till then.