Plateau State Former Governor Jonah David Jang was yesterday remanded in prison custody after he was denied bail by Justice Daniel Longji of the Jos High Court.
Jang was arraigned on a 12 count charge of alleged corruption and misappropriation of N6.3 billion shortly before he vacated office and was arraigned alongside Yusuf Gyang Pam, a onetime cashier in the office of the Secretary to the State Government who allegedly embezzled N11 million. The defendants pleaded ‘not guilty’ to all charges.
However, the defence lead counsel, Robert Clarke, who had on Monday filed two bail applications, urged the court to grant bail to the defendant on self-recognizance.
Clarke stated Jang had in the past been given administrative bail on five occasions during investigations, adding that “based on law, the defendants are innocent until proven guilty.”
Lead counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Jacob (SAN), however, urged the court to deny the bail application on the basis that the offences committed by the defendants were serious.
He stated that; “between January and April 2015, the first defendant collected N4billion in cash from the state coffers. Also, CBN gave the sum of N2 billion for the empowerment of the people of Plateau State but the then government cashed it and we are saying they should be released on bail to go to their home on self-recognition like a king or the pope.”
However, Justice Longji adjourned to Thursday, May 24 for ruling on bail application.
The senator representing Plateau North had arrived the court premises at 9:28am in a 15-seater Toyota Hiace bus draped in white traditional attire and accompanied by officials of EFCC and the Police.
Daily Trust reports that there was heavy presence of security agencies and protesters chanting solidarity songs for the ex-governor but the demonstrators were barred from getting into the court premises.