Yakubu Busari, Jos
An officer with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses, ICPC, Mr Taiwo Lorumyomi has told Plateau State High court sitting in Jos , how former Governor Jonah David Jang ordered a former cashier to withdraw N2bn from the account of a fictional Small and Medium Enterprises Agency and N3bn from the Plateau State Universal Basic Education Board, PSUBEB.
Olorumyomi stated that when ICPC received a petition from Plateau state government over abuse of office,embezzlement of public funds, misappropriation and several corrupt practices against the administration of the former Governor Jonah David Jang, the Commission set up and investigation team
He said:“However, in the course of my investigation, I wrote to Plateau state government and several other agencies in other to recover documents that would help to unravel the truth of the allegations mentioned in the petition.
“My Lord, after analyzing this documents, I did have a course to invite for interaction several persons that were found to have played one role of the other in course of our investigation, amongst those invited are Jonah David Jang, the first defendant, Yusuf Pam ,the second defendant, former Commissioner for Finance, Accountant General of the state and the permanent secretary with many others .
“The investigation revealed that Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, released about N2bn naira to Plateau state government base on an MoU signed between the state government to be release to certain financial institutions for onward lending to micro enterprises, small and medium enterprise from Plateau state.”
He said investigative showed that the N2BN naira didn’t go into Plateau state government small and medium account, rather the money went to a Plateau State Project account which negated the agreement between CBN, Plateau state .
“My Lord ,we discovered at a point in time ,this money was meant for another account that belonged to the state ,and was reverse again to Plateau project account. We had course to invite Commissioner of Finance ,A/C general ,Permanent secretary who served during Governor Jonah David Jang’s administration.
He said in order to know how the N2bn was disbursed to beneficiaries, the ICPC investigation team sent invitation to volunteers and after a careful analysis the support documents shows that the N2bn was withdrawn in tranches from the Plateau project account as classified expenditure and was cashed by the second defendant to the first defendant (Jang).
He said the team got to know there was nothing like classified expenditure after the first defendant, Jang, volunteer a statement on invitation to clarify the issue
Olorumyomi futher told court that Jang, also authorised the withdrawal of N3bn from Plateau state Universal Basic Education Board.
The money was withdrawn in three tranches of N2.079 billion, N700 millions and N400 millions allegedly for use in the renovation, furnishings, and building of public schools.
Counsel to the first defendant, Mike Ozekhome didn’t raise objection to the first defendant’s written statement and it was tender and mark as exhibit P21
The counsel to the 2nd defendant also didn’t object to the statement that was tendered but argued that the fresh N3 billion was not included in the witness’ statement of oaths so he drew the court attention to it. Hearing in the case continues.