Court Adjourns Ex-Gov Nyame's N1.64bn Fraud Trial To May 25
The trial of a former governor of Taraba State, Jolly Nyame, continued before Justice Adebukola Banjoko, of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, Gudu, with his defence team presenting its third witness, Aminu Ayuba, on May 24, 2017.
Nyame is standing trial on a 41-count charge bordering on misappropriation of state funds to the tune of N1.64 billion while in office. He had earlier lost his “no case” submission and had to defend himself in court.
Ayuba, whose testimony began on May 22, 2017 under cross-examination by Olalekan Ojo, counsel for Nyame is currently the acting accountant general of the state. He had earlier given evidence relating to payment vouchers and documents marked exhibit O1.
At today’s proceedings, his cross-examination continued with him testifying as to whether the processing of the documents underwent post-auditing.
After identifying the exhibit, Ayuba, told the court that “post auditing” was carried out on the documents.
“Every voucher raised for payment was usually examined by the regional auditor before payments are made and post auditing comes up at the end of a period, either a month, six months or annually,” he said.
According to him, such post auditing was “to ensure that the internal auditors confirm the attachments to the payment vouchers.”
He added that “post auditing is done after the compilation and computation by the office of the accountant general before it is sent to the office of the auditor general of the state for confirmation and certification before the accounts are published.”
He further noted that the memo by the executive governor was the first attachment, while others are those acknowledging the payment and the payment vouchers.
Under further cross-examination by Ojo, he averred that since there were no queries raised by the office of the auditor general in the process of post auditing, “then everything is ok.”
Identifying three published reports dated 2007, 2008 and 2009 detailing financial transactions in the state, he said, “All the reports all had the certification of the state’s auditor general and indication that the published accounts have no problem.”
While noting that no audit queries were raised on the documents, he said, “I actually found out from the accountant why they were not published, he simply said there was no political will to publish the accounts, but that they have been compiled and ready for publication.”
However, under cross-examination by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, Ayuba was taken up on the accounts of the state for 2005 and 2006, which were not published, as well as his testimony of having been a civil servant for the past 20 years.
Under examination by the prosecution, he admitted to have been out of service between 2011 and 2014, contradicting his earlier statement that he had been in service for more than two decades without a break.
Ayuba admitted that he indeed contested for the House of Representatives under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 2011. He claimed that he won the election, “but I was not announced as the winner”.
“I contested in 2011 but I was brought back to service in December 2014, so it is true, because I was reinstated and pardoned in 2014 and number of years I lost were merged,” he added.
He also admitted that while in service, he never had anything to do with payment of salaries to the governor, commissioners, and permanent secretaries.
Jacobs, therefore put it to him that based on his testimony so far, “you’re a politician coming here to help your colleague [Nyame] and you do not have a civil service that was not polluted by political influence.”
Justice Banjoko, thereafter adjourned to May 25, 2017 for further cross examination of Ayuba by the prosecution.
Former Taraba State Governor Jolly Nyame
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)