Witness says Jang breached due process in approving N2bn

Prosecution witness, Mary Bawa, yesterday told Justice Daniel Longji of the High Court sitting in Jos that the approval of N2.079 billion for the Plateau State Universal Education Board (PLASUBEB) by former Governor Jonah Jang did not follow due process.

Jang (first defendant) had faced 12-count charges for abuse of office, embezzlement and money laundering to the tune of N10 billion, brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

However, at yesterday’s resumed sitting, the prosecution pressed more charges, making it 17.Bawa, the 12th prosecution witness, is a civil servant in the Office of the Accountant General, Plateau State Ministry of Finance, and served in PLASUBEB as Director, Finance and Supply, where she processed financial documents, made payments and kept records.

She denied knowledge of the presentation of N2.079 billion threshold to the board. “All that I know is that the loan of N2.079 billion was handed over to me,” Bawa added.PLASUBEB is mandated to build and furnish primary and secondary schools as well as train teachers. It operates a joint account with the federal and Plateau governments.

On the other hand, Bawa said that all the monies approved and borrowed by Jang did not go to his personal account, but to the state government. She explained that SUBEB, which she was a member from March to August 2015, took care of primary schools, junior secondary schools, built and renovated schools, trained teachers and paid their salaries.

According to her testimony when led in evidence-in-chief by the EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), “the SUBEB used the money for capacity building, payment of teachers’ salaries, innovation of schools, procurement of institutional materials and so on.”She pointed out that the contentious N2,079,439,219.88 had been withdrawn before she was posted from the Ministry of Finance to SUBEB.

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