N1.64bn fraud: Ex-Taraba governor, Jolly Nyame, jailed for 14 years
The Federal Capital Territory High Court has sentenced a former governor of Taraba State, Mr Jolly Nyame, to 14 years in prison without an option of fine.
Jolly Nyame who was Taraba state governor between 1999 and 2007 was being sentenced for his acts of criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of the sum of N1.64bn belonging to the state.
Delivering a judgement that lasted more than four hours on Wednesday, Justice Adebukola Banjoko found the former governor guilty in 27 out of 41 counts he was charged with.
There was no option of fine on any of the counts.
According to the judgement, the former governor was jailed two years for misappropriation of government funds, seven years for receiving gratification, and five years for obtaining valuable government properties without consideration.
But the sentences, according to the judge, are to run concurrently.
Justice Banjoko after truning down Nyame’s plea for leniency, said she was “morally outweighed by facts of the case.”
She said: “Citizens of Taraba had elected the defendant, a clergyman, on three separate occasions to govern them, which shows constant level of trust. The expectation must have been so high. “As a reverend, he must have been seen as an epitome of morality, piety and everything good. How will Reverend Nyame begin to explain to people of Taraba State his actions and inactions? How can he justify causing such a colossal loss to the state?”
She added that Nyame ,
“behaved like a common thief with unbridled greed,”
saying his sentence would serve as a deterrent to other public office holders.
The court directed EFCC to return all the funds it recovered in the process of its investigation into the case to the coffers of Taraba State. The Judge further dismissed a no-case-submission that was made by the defendant who contended that EFCC failed to, by way of credible evidence, nail him to the alleged fraud.