In a major victory for the anti-corruption campaign by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, a high court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Wednesday handed down a 14 years sentence to former Taraba State Governor, Reverend Jolly Nyame.
Trial judge justice Adebukoola Banjoko delivering judgment on the 11 years old trial said she cannot help but hand down the maximum sentence after finding the defendant guilty of allegations of fraud, criminal breach of trust amongst others.
The judge held that the judgment is meant to serve as a deterrent to other public office holders who have plans to dip their hands in the public treasury.
“The court would be failing in its responsibility if it does otherwise. As regards to the criminal breach of trust, a maximum of 14yrs without the option of fine.
“Misappropriation, 2yrs without the option of fine, gratification, 7yrs without the option of fine, obtaining valuable things without consideration, 5yrs without the option of fine.
“The sentences, however, are to run concurrently”, the court held.
In addition, the court ordered that all the forfeited funds be returned to Taraba State government.
Justice Banjoko stated that the court was morally outweighed by the fact of the case.
The court held that either Nyame got corrupted while in office or was corrupt from day one going by the way he embezzled the state’s funds.
According to the judge, Nyame breached the trust reposed on him by the people of Taraba State who had on three separate occasions elected him as the governor of the state.
Justice Banjoko stated that the former governor, being a clergyman was suppose to be an epitome of honesty and integrity but chose to betray the confidence reposed in him.
The judge noted that Nyame continued to dip his hands into the state’s treasury, even when he was aware that he was under the intense searchlight of the anti-graft agency.
While holding that the governor had no legal justifications for the crime, justice Banjoko said, “He behaved like a common thief with unbridled greed”, adding that, “the court must impose the maximum sentence to discourage other public office holders”.
Pension Fund Assets under management as at the first quarter (Q1) 2018 stood at N7.943 trillion as against N7.515 trillion In the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2017, the Pension Assets and Membership Data Q1 2018, has revealed.
The data, which were obtained from the website of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated that the Pension Assets and Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Membership Data Q1 2018 reflected that 7,975,976 workers are registered under the pension scheme compared to 7,823,911 registered workers in Q4 2017.
Giving details of the pension assets, the NBS stated that FGN Bonds has the highest weight percentage of 48.61 per cent of the total pension fund assets, closely followed by treasury bills with 20.89 percentage weight and domestic ordinary Smshares with 9.25 percentage weight while agency bonds have the least with 0.07 percentage weight.
Participants within the age distribution 30-39 years have the highest percentage composition closely followed by participants within the age bracket of 40-49 years and 50-59 years while participants above 65 years have the least percentage composition.
The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, wednesday said his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for false assets declaration did not come up at the meeting between the new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo last Monday.
Saraki’s assertion was corroborated by the Chairman of nPDP and now a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, who said there was never a time the nPDP bloc requested for the stoppage of the senate president’s trial at the CCT during their meeting with Osinbajo.
The senate president in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, issued yesterday, said he was not interested in any settlement of the case outside the judicial process contrary to a report published by a national daily.
The nPDP leadership had last Monday held a meeting with the vice president in their efforts to address the grievances put forward to the APC national leadership and presidency so as to bring peace and stability to the party.
Consequently, a national daily reported that the issues discussed at the Monday’s meeting “are Saraki’s trial before the CCT, exclusion of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, in Bauchi and Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso from the APC ward and local government congresses in Kano State.
Other issues discussed at the meeting, according to the report, included alleged persecution of nPDP members by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris.
But in a statement yesterday, Saraki claimed that his trial at the CCT never came up at the meeting between nPDP and the vice president contrary to the report, which he said, lacked some level of authenticity.
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