Nigeria’s senator imprisoned for corruption
Sen. Jonah Jang has been remanded in prison custody by Justice Daniel Longji of the Plateau State High Court in Jos.
The Plateau former governor, with his former cashier in the office of the Secretary to the Plateau State Government, Yusuf Pam, will be in prison till Thursday, May 24, when the court will rule on his bail application.
Both were arraigned on Wednesday before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on a 12-count charge levelled against them.
The commission alleged misuse of some special funds released to Plateau State by the Central Bank of Nigeria few months to the end of Jang’s tenure as governor in 2015.
The defendants were brought to court in an unregistered hummer bus, at about 9.30am on Wednesday amid tight security.
One of the charges read: “That you, Senator Jonah David Jang, whilst being the governor of Plateau State, and Yusuf Gyang Pam, whilst being a cashier in the office of the Secretary to the Plateau State Government, between January and May 2015 in Jos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, dishonestly misappropriated certain property, to wit: an aggregate sum of N4,357, 195, belonging to the Plateau State Government and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 309 of the Penal Code Law of Northern Nigeria applicable to Plateau State.”
Jang, in a white Babaringa with a cap, kept smiling as the charges were being read to him and Pam.
A crowd of supporters and sympathizers cheered them on outside.
The Nigerian Senate where Jamg belongs is known for its solidarity with its members EFCC is prosecuting.
But no senator was there among the crowd of supporters on Wednesday.
In the courtroom, both suspects pleaded not guilty to the entire 12 charges.
The lead defence counsel, Chief Robert Clarke (SAN), urged the court to admit his clients to bail, pointing out that the offences alleged against them were bailable.
EFCC counsel Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), however, opposed the bail applications, saying the offences the defendants were charged with were “serious, bordering on corruption, attracting no fewer than five years’ imprisonment.”
After taking arguments from the two sides, Justice Longji adjourned till May 24 to rule on the bail applications.