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Jang’s 6.3 billion Naira corruption case: Court orders trial-within-trial

Justice Daniel Longji of the Plateau state High Court sitting in Jos on Wednesday ordered a trial-within-trial in a corruption case involving the former Governor of Plateau state Senator Jonah Jang and former Cashier in the Office of the Secretary of State Government, Yusuf Pam in order to determine whether statement from former Cashier indicting the former governor was obtained voluntarily. Jang is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on a 12-count charge bordering on embezzlement and misappropriation of funds to the tune of N6.3billion while in office.

Justice Longji said the trial within trial became necessary in order to establish the fact of the purported statement written by Yusuf Pam who is the 2nd defendant to be tendered before the court by a witness, Taiwo Olorunyomi an Investigator with Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences, (ICPC).
During the sitting on Tuesday, Olorunyomi came to court with a statement alleged to have been written by the 2nd defendant when he was invited by ICPC.

The statement has shown that N2 billion MSME was withdrawn and taken to Jang in cash by the 2nd defendant from Plateau state project account as Classified Expenditure. After given his oral evidence on Wednesday, Olorunyomi wanted to buttress his testimony and sought tender through his counsel Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) the purported statement written by the 2nd defendant that collaborates what he told the court but counsel to 2nd defendant Sunny G Odey objected to it alleging that his client wrote the statement under duress.
The statement was given to the 2nd defendant to confirm or deny the authenticity of it and he said, “It is my statement, but I wrote it under duress, I was threatened.”
Counsel to 2nd defendant then urged the court to give them adequate time to prove that his client wrote the statement under duress. Justice Longji said for fair hearing and for law to take its course, he adjourned the case until 25th and 26th April, 2019 for trial within trial.

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