EFCC vs Jang: Trial stalled as EFCC appeals for fresh date
The claim by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, that it was not ready yet to continue with the
trial of the former Governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, due to “skeletal” airline operations has stalled the continuation of the trial on Wednesday in Jos.
It would be recalled that Jang, who governed the state between 2007 and 2015, is standing trial alongside Yusuf Pam, a former cashier in the office of the Secretary to the State Government.
A 17-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of public fund was brought against them by the EFCC.
The duo had pleaded not guilty when they were first arraigned before Justice Daniel Longji in March, 2018.
The case was reassigned to a new judge, Justice Christy Dabub after Justice Longji retired in December 2019 and this prompted a fresh trial, the EFCC which had earlier closed its case was billed to start calling for another round of witnesses to testify in the case on 29th and 30th July, 2020, being the last adjourned dates.
However, when the trial resumed on Wednesday, Counsel to EFCC, Oluwatosin Mese announced his appearance but informed the court that the anti-graft agency was not prepared to proceed with the case yet as he blamed the stalled trial on “skeletal” airline operations which he said made it impossible for the Lead EFCC Prosecution Counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN to fly into the State to continue with the matter.
He said, “My Lord, in view of the public holiday slated for tomorrow (Thursday and Friday and equally the skeletal operations of the airlines, we are unable to proceed with the matter today (Wednesday). I plead that this matter be adjourned.”
Counsel to Jang, Edward Pwajok, SAN and the Counsel to the second defendant, S Oyawole did not object to EFCC’s pleas and Justice Christy Dabub thereafter, adjourned the case to 4th and 5th November 2020.
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