Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau State High Court, Jos, yesterday reserved ruling on the admissibility or otherwise of a Zenith Bank statement in court in the ongoing trial of former Governor of Plateau State and Senator Representing Plateau North, Jonah David Jang by by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Senator Jang, who was a former Governor in the State, is standing trial in a 12-count charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, for allegedly misappropriating of over N6.3billion two months to the end of his tenure as governor in 2015.
At the resumed hearing of the case in Jos on Tuesday, Counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN had sought to tender a Zenith Bank Statement before the court through its Prosecution Witness 3, Mr Emmanuel Kpajan which was objected to by the Defense Counsel, Mr Mike Ozekhome,SAN.
In his submission, the EFCC Counsel urged the court to admit the Bank statement as evidence arguing that the witness who is a Senior Assistant Manager with Zenith Bank ,was in a position to testify on its content ,having managed the Account of the Second Accused person, Mr Yusuf Pam,a former Cashier in the Office of the Secretary to the State Government during Jang’s administration.
But the Defense Counsel, Mike Ozekhome ,SAN who cited several legal documents in his objection ,questioned the whereabouts of the signatories to the Bank Statement arguing that it was wrong for the Prosecution Counsel to seek to tender a document through a witness who was neither a party to it nor did he know the content of the document.
“My Lord, although the document appears to be the original,there is no foundation for the Prosecution Counsel to seek to tender it through the witness whose name is not on it neither does he know the content.This is a direct assault on Sections 83 and 84 of the Evidence Act. I therefore urge the court to reject the document in its entirety.”
After taking arguments from both Counsels, the Presiding Judge, Justice Daniel Longji reserved ruling on the matter till Wednesday, 5th December, 2018.