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Jang’s alledged N6.3 billion misappropriation case stalled in Court

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The lead Counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) who is prosecuting on behalf of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was absent in Court thereby stalling the alledged misappropriation of N6.3 billion case against the former governor of Plateau State, Senator David Jonah Jang on Tuesday in Jos.

The former governor is standing trial for misappropriation of the fund when he governed Plateau State alongside a cashier in the office of the Secretary to the State government, Mr. Yusuf Pam who was alledged to have benefitted from the illicit funds.

The EFCC had earlier accused the suspects of fraud at end of the governor’s second tenure in office in 2015, but were dragged to Court in 2018.

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The defendants through their lawyers, however, pleaded not guilty to the offence, thereby set the legal fireworks in motion.

EFCC would have presented its witnesses at Tuesday’s hearing, had the prosecution Counsel was in Court.

CAPITAL POST recalls that the case was starting afresh due to the retirement in 2019 of a former judge, Justice Daniel Longji, who was handling the matter.

The case was stalled at the instance of Oluwatosin Meseh who stood in for EFCC’s lead Counsel, Rotimi Jacobs and pleaded with the Court not to continue with the case on Tuesday.

According to him, the Senior Advocate had received several notices from the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal to appear on another special panel and therefore could not be present at the Jos court to continue with the case

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Meseh further told the court that the senior lawyer had also called the former governor’s lead counsel, Mike Ozekhome, SAN to inform him of the development and that both counsels agreed that the case be shifted to May 18, 2021, for the continuation of hearing.

Ozekhome who was represented by a former Plateau State Commissioner for Justice, Olyvia Dazyem, did not raise any objection to the EFCC submission.

However, counsel for the second defendant, Sunday Odey, expressed displeasure over the way the EFCC was handling the matter involving his client.

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He argued that the reason adduced by the EFCC not to proceed with the case was not cogent enough since the EFCC’s lead counsel sent a representation to stand-in for him in the court.

He pleaded with the court not to entertain such excuses “next time” to enable them to make progress in the matter.

Justice Christy Dabup in his ruling rejected the May 18 date proposed by the EFCC counsel on the grounds of inconvenience by the court and adjourned the case “to a date to be agreed by both counsels in June 2021.”

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