Alleged N6.3bn fraud: Drama as prosecution stalls Jang’s arraignment
Two anti-graft agencies of the Federal Government on Monday failed to arraign Senator Jonah David Jang and a cashier, Yusuf Gyang Pam, before Justice Daniel Longji of the Plateau State High Court in Jos.
While the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission cited logistics reasons for its inability to produce the accused persons, the court clerk said he called the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission three times, but got no response.
“I called the ICPC three times, but they didn’t pick their calls,” the court clerk, who refused to give his name, stated when asked by the judge.
Justice Longji, therefore, ordered him to call the ICPC again and adjourned the case till Wednesday.
Jang, a former governor of Plateau State and currently a senator representing Plateau-North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, had spent 168 hours (one week) in the EFCC in Abuja, after his arrest over alleged misuse of funds.
While moving the application, Jacobs said if he had known that the accused persons would not be produced in court, he would not have traveled down to Plateau from Lagos.
“My Lord, I called my clients and they said they had a problem with logistics. I had the impression that the defendants will be produced today. I therefore urge Your Lordship to grant the application and give us Wednesday to produce the defendants,” the EFCC lawyer said.
However, defence lawyer, Robert Clarke (SAN), described the EFCC application for adjournment as “shocking”.
He said it was unfortunate for him to travel from Lagos to Jos, only to be told that the accused persons could not be arraigned before the court.
“I’m shocked to come here and be told that an accused, who has been held since last Monday, will still be locked up; this is unfair,” Clarke said.
He expressed shock that till the moment in court, the EFCC could not serve him with the charges filed against Jang before the court.
“My Lord, out of the three arms of government, the judiciary is the most trampled upon,” Clarke declared.
The judge, in his ruling on the ex parte application filed by the EFCC, said it was in accordance with the law and adjourned the case till Wednesday, May 16, 2018, for the arraignment of the accused persons and hearing of their applications for bail.Punch