A Permanent Secretary in the Taraba State Ministry of Finance, Asabe Maiangwa, on Monday October 31, 2011, told an Abuja High Court that she complained to the then Taraba state Governor, Rev Jolly Nyame, about the way the state government disbursed various sums of money to contractors for jobs not done when Nyame was the state governor.

Maiangwa had on July 13, 2011 told the court how N450 million was paid out by the state government to several persons, out of which only N16 million was used for the supply of stationery and office equipment at the instance of the then commissioner of finance, Abubakar Umar Tutari.
 
At the resumed hearing of the case today, Maiangwa, who was being led in cross examination by prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, said she met the governor personally and complained that she was not happy the way the Honourable Commissioner of Finance, Tutari handled payments especially for the procurement of stationeries.
 
“I met the governor personally and told him my mind about the way the Commissioner handled payment with regards to stationeries and also money paid to local contractors. He asked after the Commissioner and I told him he traveled, the governor then told me he was going to talk to him when he returns”, Maiangwa said.
 
Maiangwa further said that the posting out of Alhaji Naigari Umar, an official of Taraba State government House, to another office was a fall out of his refusal to sign a cheque of N200 million for the Secretary to the State government whom he considered was not the accounting officer of the state. She said it was shortly after the N450 million incident that she was posted out of the office. The case was adjourned till  Tuesday November 1, 2011, for continuation of hearing.
 
Earlier on July 13, 2011, Maiangwa, who was asked to tell the court what she knew about the payment of N200 million by the state government in 2005, said: "In 2005, the Commissioner of Finance (Abubakar Umar Tutari) met me and gave me a list with two names - Salman Global Ventures and the deputy Speaker. He told me that the Accountant was going to bring a cheque from the Accountant General's office and we should disburse it."
 
She said she handed the note to the Accountant. "In the note, the commissioner directed that the sum of N165 million should be paid to Salman Global Ventures; N15 million to the deputy Speaker, Taraba State House of Assembly; N4 million to the P.A. to commissioner of finance; and N16 million was for the purchase of the stationeries."
 
She further stated that she handed over the N16 million to the accountant for the purchase of the stationery through a local contractor, Baba Gambo. The permanent secretary was further asked what she did when she discovered that the contract items were not supplied, She said she went to the commissioner of finance to ask him the purpose for the issuance of cheque to Salman Global Ventures Limited when the jobs were not done. She said the commissioner told her that he was given an instruction to that effect.
 
She was again asked if she knew who gave the commissioner the instruction; she said it was the ex-governor. Before she could go further with her testimony, defence counsel, Charles Edosonwan, objected and said it was improper for the witness to give testimony based on ‘hearsay'. "The only person who can do that is the commissioner of finance and no other person," Mr Edosonwan said. But before the adjournment, the permanent secretary had also told the court that the commissioner of finance, after the payment of the various sums, gave her N8 million as a gift to be shared for the entire staff of the ministry.
 
Count one of the charges against Nyame reads, “That you, JOLLY TEVORU NYAME between January and February, 2005 at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, while being the Governor of Taraba State of Nigeria and in such capacity entrusted with dominion over certain property to wit: the sum of N250, 000, 000, .00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) meant for the purchase of stationeries by the Taraba State Government committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said sum and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 1990”.
 
Count 2 “That you Jolly Tevoru Nyame between January and February, 2005 at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, while being the Governor of Taraba State of Nigeria and in such capacity entrusted with dominion over certain properties to wit: funds meant for the purchase of stationeries by the Taraba State Government committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said funds by collecting the sum of N180, 000, 000.00 (One Hundred and Eighty Million Naira) from the entire sum for your personal use and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 1990”.
 
Count 6 reads, “That you Jolly Tevoru Nyame on or about 14th February, 2005 at  Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory while being the Governor of Taraba State of Nigeria and in such capacity entrust with dominion over certain properties to wit: the sum of N165,000. 000.00 (one hundred and sixty five Million Naira) committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said sum and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 laws of Federation of Nigeria 1990”.
 
 Femi  Babafemi
Head, Media & Publicity

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