N1.64bn Fraud: Court Overrules Defence, Admits Exhibits against Nyame

Jolly Nyame

Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, Gudu, yesterday, overruled the objection of Jolly Nyame’s counsel, challenging the admissibility of his statement of account domiciled with a bank as well as account opening documents, which the prosecution sought to tender as exhibit against him.

Nyame is currently standing trial as the fourth defence witness, in a N1.64 billion fraud charge brought against him by the EFCC that began in 2007.

He was on October 4, 2017, confronted with the statements by the prosecution, led by Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, but his counsel, Olalekan Ojo, urged the court to discountenance the request of the prosecution, as he objected to its admissibility

“The documents were not made by the defendant, and so do not meet the requirements of Section 83 of the Evidence Act,” Ojo said, arguing that the documents could only be presented through the bank official that created them, and not through the defendant.

Jacobs had, however, countered his argument, noting that the certification on the document “was sufficient evidence to show compliance with the Evidence Act”.

“Moreover, the defendant did not contest that the statements were not from his bank account, neither did he contest his photo and signature on them,” Jacobs said.

Delivering ruling today, Justice Banjoko noted: “The value of the statement is in the transaction in it; and therefore, proper foundation is seen to have been well laid.

“The objection is overruled,” the trial judge held, and accepted the documents as Exhibit SS.’’ With the objection overruled, Jacobs continued with cross-examination of Nyame, probing him on transactions in the statement, which focused on various deposits into his account while he was governor of Taraba State between 1999 and 2007.

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