A Plateau State High Court sitting in Jos on Monday fixed May 16, for the arraignment of Senator David Jang who is being detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for misappropriation of funds.
Consequently, pro Plateau youths in solidarity with the Senator, thronged the court premises demanding for his release and carrying placards with inscriptions such as ‘Stop The Witch-hunt’, ‘Jang Our Hero’, and so on.
Our correspondent reports that the EFCC had on Monday May 7, preferred a 12 count charge bordering on alleged corruption and misappropriation of funds against Jang.
Sen. Jang who currently represents Plateau North Senatorial District, is alleged to have misappropriated over N6 billion two months to the end of his tenure as governor of Plateau State in 2015.
According to the charges, Jang is also said to have embezzled over N4 billion from the state’s coffer through a cashier in the office of the Secretary to the State Government, one Yusuf Pam, who is also charged along with Jang for also personally enriching himself with N11 million.
At the hearing, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacob (SAN) representing the EFCC, moved an experte application, to prefer the charge to the court.
Jacob said that the case was listed for an experte application for leave and not arraignment, he further prayed the court to give them two days to produce the accused persons before the court for proper arraignment.
Counsel representing Sen. Jang, Robert Clarke (SAN) while responding, expressed shock that his client has been behind bars since May 7, without bail and proper arraignment.
Clarke added that the arraignment should have been done owing that his client had been served with papers and the court served with same.
The judge, Justice D.D Longji, in his ruling said that what the prosecuting counsel did was right, as the matter was not ready for arraignment.
Longji said that the matter was for an experte application to prefer the charges before the court adding that he had to acknowledge the matter before arraignment.
He added that he had also received the bail application for the accused persons, but cannot act on it until they (accused persons) have been properly arraigned.
He thereafter adjourned the matter to May 16, for proper arraignment and hearing of the application for bail.
Recall that a member of the legal team to Senator Jonah Jang, Barrister David Dusu, had last week, alleged that the Plateau State government and the Minister for Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, had sustained pressure on the EFCC, to arrest and detain Jang.
Dusu said it is illegal for the EFCC to hold the Senator beyond 24hours.
He said when the Information Minister published the “looters list” indicting Jang to have embezzled N12 billion, lawyers to the senator wrote him seeking a retraction and demanding a whooping N500million damage, as what EFCC had earlier allegedly indicted the ex -governor was N6.3billion and not N12b.
As it stands, Jang legal team had file a suit against the EFCC demanding N500million as damages against the person of the Senator.