Jolly Nyame, former Governor of Tarba State, has informed a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, in Abuja, how he approved the sum of N450m for stationery while he was a governor.
Nyame is standing trial for a 41-count of criminal misappropriation of the state’s N1.64bn while he was governor.
The former governor made the confirmation during a cross-examination by counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN).
Fielding questions before the Justice Adebukola Banjoko-led court, Nyame said he approved a memo on December 12, 2004 requesting for N250m for the purchase of stationery and the money was released on January 4, 2005.
The former governor said about a month after the release of the sum of N250m, he also approved another memo requesting for N200m for the purchase of additional stationery.
Nyame noted that the cheque for the N200m was cashed on February 14, 2005 by one Abdulkadir Umar, who was an employee of the state Ministry of Finance.
According to Nyame, “It is normal because I give approval to memos based on requirements and needs of the ministry requesting.”
EFCC told the court that out of the N200m, the sum of N165m was allegedly diverted by Nyame.
Jacobs claimed that Umar deposited the sum of N165m in the account of a company carrying out a project for the state, Salman Global Ventures.
The former governor said, “It is not true. I did not instruct anybody from ministry of finance to transfer funds to the account of Salman Global.”
Denying the allegation that he ordered that the Chief Store Officer of the state be queried when the officer questioned the whereabouts of the funds for the stationery, Nyame said, “I would be surprised to hear that the Chief Store Officer said he did not see any stationery bought with the N250m, but I did not know anything about the query except now in court.”