Ex Governor Jolly Nyame of Taraba State currently serving a 14 years jail term in Kuye prison would have been a freeman enjoying his liberty on the street but for a petition written by a widow against her late husband brother, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said in its latest magazine Alert.
The magazine said that EFCC stumbled into Nyame goldmine at a time it did not expect it would unravelled the crimes for which the man was convicted .
Nyame was in fact, never in the purview of the EFCC and no one at any time wrote a petition against him. There was no witch- hunt. Nyame financial crime was unravelled by the EFCC while investigating a petition written by a widow, Hauwa Kulu Usman, against Suleiman Abubakar younger brother to her late husband Usman Abubakar ,Managing Director of Ulusab International limited.
She had taken her cry to the EFCC to help recover money from Suleiman being payment to the company. The Taraba state government had issued a cheque of N135,794,607 in favour of the company ,as contract payment for rehabilitation of the Ibi Wukari water project .
But Suleiman collected the cheque and lodged it in a different account domiciled in the Zenith bank PLC in Jalingo.
Hauwa sought the help of Efcc to recover the money , accusing Suleiman who took over the company of ” squandering ” it.
He was subsequently invited by the EFCC for questioning : then and there the bubble burst . During the interrogation, Suleiman admitted collecting the cheque , and though argued that he did not squander the money as alleged in the petition, confirmed that it was for the said project that was ongoing before the death of his brother.
He revealed that through Abubakar Tutare , then Commissioner of finance in the State the company applied for additional work which was granted by the state government.
According to him the estimate for the additional was N35m but Tutare instructed him to add N100m to the estimate .
Subsequently , a cheque of N135m was issued Suleiman, but along with it was a complimentary card, with an an account number written at mate he back . Tutare instructed him to pay the N100m into the account. Suleiman had asked Tutare about VAT payment , to which Tutare told him to deduct 10 percent as tax and to credit the account at the back of the card belonging to Nyame with N80m and bring N10 million to him.