The corruption trial of a former Plateau State governor, Senator David Jonah Jang before Justice Christy Dabup of Plateau State High Court, Jos resumed on Tuesday, with the prosecution presenting two more witnesses: Boyi Kakai Sanka and Mary Anthony Bawa.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is prosecuting Jang alongside Yusuf Pam, a former cashier in the Office of the Secretary to the State Government (OSSG), for alleged criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of Plateau State funds to the tune of N6.32 billion.
Led in evidence by prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, Sanka, a former Accountant General of Plateau State from 25th August, 2011 to 1st June, 2015, told the court that his schedule of duties included maintaining custody of all funds accruing to the state, payment, disbursements and remittances as the case may be on the approval of the governor.
The former Accountant General explained how disbursement of funds were made in Plateau State.
“My lord, the procedure of disbursements is as follows. The ministry or MDA that has a need of funds initiate a memo to the Governor seeking approval. If it is approved, it is forwarded to the Commissioner for Finance who then directs the processing and release of funds to the Accountant General. The Accountant General will check the memo and direct the Director of Treasury, after processing, to send the memo through the expenditures control process”.
The witness told the court that the N2 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Funds (MSME), fund which the state received from the Central Bank of Nigeria was paid into the Project 1 account on the instruction of the governor.
On the issue of the loan provided by the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Boyi told the court that, “there was a request from the governor to borrow money from SUBEB in the sum of N900 million but SUBEB was able to raise N750 Million and it was the governor that approved the borrowing”.
The witness further stated that he met e-payment when he assumed office and until he left in 2015, the e-payment system was still in force.
Bawa, in her testimony, informed the court that she was at SUBEB, as Director, Finance and Supply from March 2015 – August 2015, and that her duties included raising mandates and returns of all payments.
On the loans provided by SUBEB, the witness said they were given after approval.
“Apart from the N2 billion, there was another N750 million which was during my time. There was a request and approval for it, and there are documents for the request and approval, my lord”.
Prosecution counsel, Jacobs, SAN tendered certified copies of the request and approval for the loans in evidence.
Counsel to 1st and 2nd defendants cross-examined the witnesses. The case was adjourned to February 9, 2022, for continuation of trial.