26th April, 2017
A defence witness, Philip Akolo, who was an orderly to former Taraba governor, Jolly Nyame, on Tuesday told an FCT High Court Gudu, that he never saw him receive N100m.
Akolo said this during cross examination by the EFCC prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN).
Jacobs had said that former Taraba Government House Accountant, Mr Abdurahman Mohammed, had testified that on the eve of president Obasanjo’s visit to Taraba in April 2007, he had taken N100million to Nyame.
The witness, who said he was always with the ex-governor, denied seeing the accountant coming in with two bags of money and giving it to the governor.
The witness, who is currently a Deputy Superintendent of Police in Gombe Divisional Police Command, testified that as an orderly to Nyame during his tenure, he was the closest to the governor.
“It was not possible for anyone to see him without my knowledge, no exceptional cases. When he goes to bed, I’ll retire and leave the body guards to take over.’’
He also denied, upon cross examination, the testimony given by prosecution witness no. 8, Mr Abdurahman Mohammed, that he also took money in excess of N24million to Nyame in Abuja.
Akolo said, “apart from allowances which he signed on behalf of the governor, “nothing was brought to the government house in Abuja.’’
He also denied that the then Permanent Secretary, Mr Dennis Nev, ever brought money to Nyame, adding “apart from files he normally carried he never saw, him with any other thing.’’
On his relationship with the former Taraba helmsman, the witness said that his relationship “was official”.
He said throughout the eight years as an orderly to Nyame, he was only conversant with the security aspect of his work and not the administrative procedures.
“I don’t know about the finance of Taraba government house or how the governor was being paid, apart from travelling allowances.’’
He said he never knew if the governor requested for funds from the Permanent Secretary nor the receipt of those funds.
He said the only time he was not with Nyame was when the ex-governor travelled abroad.
He also said he was not a member of Taraba state executive council nor did he attend their meetings, and was not privy to their deliberations.
He, however admitted that he doesn’t know the people the governor related with when he travelled outside the country.
”But if he does something against the law or the constitution, I have no say in that because the law must take its course,’’ Akolo said.
Justice Adebukola Banjoko adjourned hearing in the until May 15.