Tuesday, April 26, 2016 5:42 am
Justice Adebukola Banjoko of FCT High Court on Monday admitted EFCC’s 2007 statements as exhibits and overruled Jolly Nyame, the ex-Taraba governor’s objections, thereby ending a three-year trial-within-trial.
Banjoko gave the verdict in his ruling after taking into consideration evidence of both the prosecution and the defence counsel.
The ruling has brought to an end the three-year trial-within-trial which began in 2013.
The statements were confessional statements to the EFCC, dated June 6 and June 7, 2007 as well as that of July 11,2007.
“After a careful consideration of the totality of evidence, the court is satisfied that the prosecution had established to the satisfaction of the court the reliability of the statements,’’ the judge said.
Banjoko also said that the mere fact that a statement in a confession was elicited by a question put by a police officer recording it does not make the statement irrelevant.
Nyame is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 41-count charge bordering on criminal misappropriation of state funds.
The former governor was alleged to have stolen N1.64 billion during his tenure as governor of Taraba.
On May 20, 2013, the Prosecution Witness No. 9, Ibrahim Galadima, a Superintendent of Police and the commission’s operative, testified against the ex-governor.
He tendered three statements in court credited to Nyame of which his counsel, C.Edomsonwan objected to the admissibility of the three statements.
Edomsonwan contended that all the three statements were not voluntarily obtained by EFCC.
He claimed that the three statements were obtained in a question and answer procedure by the investigating officer and the defendant.
He also said that the three statements did not satisfy the test or requirement of the reliability under the provision of Section 29(2) of the Evidence Act, 2011.