PLATEAU, Nigeria – The trial of former Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang and a former cashier in the Secretary to the State Government’s office, Yusuf Pam, before Justice C. L. Dabup of Plateau State High Court, Jos, continued on Thursday.
The prosecuting witness two (PW2), Uchenna Innocent Igwe, testified.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is prosecuting Jang and Pam for alleged criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of state funds to the tune of N6.3billion.
Igwe, head of Jos branch of Zenith Bank from 2014 to 2015 was led in evidence by prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacob (SAN).
He narrated how N2billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSME), granted by the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for provision of affordable credit to participants was diverted.
“My lord, we have the Plateau State Project One Account and Plateau State Small and Medium Enterprises Development (PALSMEDEN) account. An inflow of N2billion from the CBN came into the Project One Account and the inflow was for MSMEs. Immediately I saw the inflow, I notified the commissioner of Finance and the state’s accountant-general that there was an inflow of N2billion into the Project Account One instead of the PALSMEDEN account.”
The witness said once he notified the government that the money was sent to the wrong account, they ordered the bank to transfer it to the PALSMEDEN account.
This was done on March 20, 2015.
But on March 24, 2015, the bank received a counter instruction to transfer the money back to Project One Account.
Igwe disclosed that on March 25, 2015, the bank was asked to transfer N900,000 to the Ministry of Information, N50million to Government House Administrator, N150million to OSSG’s Cabinet Office, another N150million to OSSG’s office, N400,000 to Plateau State Fire Service, additional N2million to OSSG Cabinet Office, N3million to OSSG Cabinet Office.
Others are N5million to Government House Administrator, N8.3million to Government House Administrator, N15million to OSSG Cabinet Office, another N15million to OSSG Cabinet Office, N26.25million to the SSG account, N11million to OSSG Cabinet Office, and N609million to Plateau State Government Salary Account.
Igwe added that transfers continued in the month of April.
“My lord on April 1, 2015 we transferred N609million to Project One Account from Plateau State Government Salary Account. On April 2, there was a transfer of N150million to OSSG Project Office Account, and April 7, another transfer of N150million to OSSG Office. On April 8, we again transferred N150million to OSSG Cabinet Office and N11.474million to Operation Rainbow and another N9million to Operation Rainbow”.
Trial was adjourned until February 16, 17 and 18, 2021.
On Wednesday, the prosecution presented the first witness (PW1), Olayetan Mudashir Adeola, a retired director in Development and Finance Department, CBN.
In his testimony, Adeola confirmed that Jang insisted that the N2 billion MSME fund be paid into Project One Account which was not meant for the fund.