SWITZERLAND, FEBRUARY 07 – The supreme court has affirmed the judgment of the court of appeal which handed a 12- year jail sentence to Jolly Nyame, a former governor of Taraba state.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had charged Nyame with abuse of office.
He was accused of diverting N1.64 billion during his tenure as governor of Taraba between 1999 and 2007.
Having stood trial for about 11 years, Adebukola Banjoko, judge of a federal capital territory high court in Gudu, convicted Nyame on May 30, 2018, and sentenced him to 14 years in prison.
The former governor then appealed the judgment of the trial court and the jail term was reduced to 12 years but still dissatisfied, he headed to the apex court.
Nyame had contended that the trial court did not have the jurisdiction to hear his case. He also asked the apex court to further reduce the sentence from 12 years. He challenged the N100 million fine which was imposed on him.
Delivering the lead judgment on Friday, Amina Augie, a judge, dismissed the issue of jurisdiction, holding that the trial court did not err by hearing the matter.
She, however, held that the court of appeal ought not to have imposed a fine on Nyame because the issue of fine was never raised by the prosecution or defendant for determination.
Augie upheld the verdict of the appellate court, saying: “it will not be possible to further reduce the sentence as the appellate court was gracious enough to do so” having considered Nyame as a first time offender.