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Nyame Witness says ex-Gov spent money outside budgetary provisions

The witness said that the money was released and he could neither identify the name nor signature of the payee on the payment voucher.

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Court dismisses bail application of jailed ex-governor Nyame play

Former Taraba state governor, Jolly Nyame

(Guardian)

A defence witness, Mr Aminu Ayuba, on Monday told an FCT High Court, Gudu, that former Gov. Jolly Nyame of Taraba spent money outside budgetary provisions.

Ayuba, the acting Accountant General of Taraba, spoke during the continuation of cross examination by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN).

Nyame is facing trial on alleged misappropriation of state funds to the tune of N1.64 billion during his tenure from 1999 to 2007.

The witness was cross examined based on the exhibits he tendered on Monday, May 22.

These exhibits were the 2007-2009 Taraba Financial Report and Audited Accounts of the Office of the Accountant General of Taraba.

These exhibits were marked as NN1-NN3 and were admitted into evidence.

In the 2007 audited account, the prosecution established that a deficit of N16.8billion was recorded in the 2007 report.

The money budgeted for the governor’s office was N100million, but N2.1billion was spent.

The witness also identified approvals made by the ex-governor for the purchase of grains (rice, beans, maize and guinea-corn) to the tune of N24.3 million for the people of Taraba.

There was a directive by the ex-governor conveying the approval for the money to be released to Permanent Secretary, Abuja Liason office, for him to coordinate the purchases through direct labour.

The witness said that the money was released and he could neither identify the name nor signature of the payee on the payment voucher.

He said that he was just an accountant in Taraba Government House in 2007,

He was asked to confirm from the unsigned payment voucher whether the money was actually utilised for the purpose.

“I can only confirm that the money was made to the payee but cannot say anything about its utilisation,’’ the witness replied.

In the N250million released for stationeries, the witness also admitted that the mere fact that the internal auditor signed the voucher did not mean that the money was utilised for the purpose.

In the memo approved by the ex-governor for vehicle maintenance and overhauling generating sets, the witness also admitted that he had never paid up to N7million for maintenance of generating sets.

“I have never even paid up to N1million, I was a cashier then, I never paid large sums like that,’’ Ayuba said.

Justice Adebukola Banjoko adjourned the case until July 3.

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