Fraud: Nyame jus­ti­fies spend­ing N450m on sta­tionery

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Cle­ment A. Oloyede

Former Taraba State gov­er­nor Jolly Nyame yes­ter­day told an FCT High Court in Gudu that there was noth­ing ab­nor­mal in his ap­proval of N450 mil­lion for pur­chase of sta­tionery in less than two months.

Un­der cross-ex­am­i­na­tion by prose­cu­tion coun­sel, Ro­timi Ja­cobs (SAN), Nyame con­firmed that he ap­proved a memo on 30/12/2004 re­quest­ing for N250 mil­lion for the pur­chase of sta­tionery and the money was re­leased on 04/01/2005.

He also con­firmed that barely a month after the re­lease of the N250mil­lion, he also ap­proved an­other memo re­quest­ing for N200mil­lion for the pur­chase of ad­di­tional sta­tionery and that the cheque was cashed on 14/02/2005 by one Ab­dulka­dir N. Umar, a staff at the state’s min­istry of fi­nance.

Of the N200mil­lion, N165mil­lion was al­legedly di­verted by Nyame when Umar de­posited the sum to the ac­count of Sal­man Global Ven­tures, a com­pany car­ry­ing out a pro­ject for the state.

Con­fronted with this al­le­ga­tion and Umar’s state­ment that he made the de­posit on his or­der, Nyame said, “It is not true. I did not in­struct any­body from min­istry of fi­nance to trans­fer funds to the ac­count of Sal­man Global.”

Nyame also con­firmed that he ap­proved an­other N20 mil­lion for the pur­chase of sta­tionery in Oc­to­ber same year for the of­fice of the SSG less than 8 months after N450mil­lion was al­ready ap­proved for same.

Asked if it was rea­son­able for the state to re­lease all these funds for sta­tionery within a year, Nyame said, “It is nor­mal be­cause I give ap­proval to memos based on re­quire­ments and needs of the min­istry re­quest­ing.”

He fur­ther de­nied al­le­ga­tion that he or­dered the Chief Store Of­fi­cer of the state to be queried, when the of­fi­cer ques­tioned the where­abouts of funds for the sta­tionery.

“I would be sur­prised to hear that the chief store of­fi­cer said he did not see any sta­tionery bought with the N250mil­lion, but I did not know any­thing about the query ex­cept now in court,” he said.

In end­ing his cross-ex­am­i­na­tion, Ja­cobs asked whether with all the rev­e­la­tions and con­tro­ver­sies that trailed the ap­proval of the N470mil­lion for sta­tionery, Nyame did not owe his state an apol­ogy for en­rich­ing him­self with their funds; to this, Nyame re­it­er­ated that his re­spon­si­bil­ity stopped at sign­ing the memos.

The Eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial Crimes Com­mis­sion (EFCC) is pros­e­cut­ing Nyame for al­leged mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of N1.64 bil­lion dur­ing his ten­ure as gov­er­nor from 1999 to 2007.

The trial judge, Jus­tice Ade­bukola Ban­joko, upon the de­fence clos­ing its case, ad­journed the mat­ter to De­cem­ber 5th for adop­tion of fi­nal writ­ten ad­dresses.

Photo: Ab­dul Musa

Chair­man, Host Com­mu­ni­ties of Nige­ria Pro­duc­ing Oil and Gas (HOSCON), Dr Mike Emuh, dur­ing his visit to Me­dia Trust Head­quar­ters in Abuja yes­ter­day

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