Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Alleged N2bn Fraud: Jonah Jang objects as witness moves to present classified documents in Court

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Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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Former Plateau Governor, Jonah Jang on Friday objected to an attempt by a witness, Jonah Kabong, a Civil servant, to tender two classified documents in Court on behalf of the EFCC.

The Ant-graft agency had dragged Jang before a Plateau High Court for alleged money laundering while in office as Governor between 2007 and 2015.

Justice Daniel Longji, Chief Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, called Kabong as a prosecution witness for the production and submission of some documents.

The documents were said be minutes of state executive council meetings classified as “Top Secret” documents from the office of Secretary to the Plateau State Government, SSG.

“My Lord, there are two documents that we asked this witness from the office of the SSG to produce for us, which we hope to tender before your lordship.

READ ALSO:   EFCC traces N500m properties to ex-Plateau govenor, Jonah Jang

“We apply to tender it as part of our evidences against the accused.,” Jacobs announced.

READ ALSO: Court adjourns hearing in Jonah Jang’s N6.3bn fraud case

But Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Counsel to Jang, objected to the application.

“My Lord, we are strongly objecting to that application because it’s not proper to tender documents that are classified and bagged ad “top secret” before a law court.

“We believe it’s going to be injurious particularly to the Plateau State. Classified documents are for public consumption.

“Our opposition to this dangerous attempt is not because we are afraid of anything but such documents by Law are not to be thrown open to the public, ” Mr Ozekhome argued.

READ ALSO:   Jang stole N2bn intervention fund from Plateau – Lalong

Justice Longji after listening to the parties arguments adjourned the case to June 27 for ruling on the application.

Earlier, Ozekhome had also punctured the testimonies of an ICPC Investigator, Mr Taiwo Olorunyomi, who early said that Jang had contravened the provisions of ICPC Act and that of the Plateau State House of Assembly by misappropriation of SUBRB N2 billion to another person project.

Olorunyomi had claimed that Jang did not seem for approval from the House before borrowing the said N2bn to execute a different project there by contravening the law.

But when the defence counsel asked the witness to point out the section of the ICPC Act that allows it to dictate to state Governments which projects on.

READ ALSO:   JUST IN: Court orders forfeiture of Patience Jonathan’s N9.2bn, $8.4m

Olorunyomi could not point out any.

“Do you know that there is an existing law that allows the State to borrow internally and externally?” Ozekhome asked Olorunyomi.

“Yes. I am aware of that,” Olorunyomi answered.


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