The Oasis Reporters
July 18, 2018
By Moses Gbande
The presiding Judge at the Jos High Court in Plateau State, Justice Daniel Longji on Tuesday issued a warning to former Plateau State Governor Jonah David Jang for his inability to arrive at the court within the specified time.
Jonah Jang who is a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is standing trial before Justice Longji at the State High Court over a case of money laundering, diversion of funds and abuse of public trust filed before it by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC against Senator Jang and Mr. Yusuf Gyang.
However, the matter on the first hearing slated for Tuesday 17th July, 2017 could not hold due to perceived security threats.
On arrival at the court, the judge warned Jang and Gyang that the court sits before 9am and they are not supposed to sit down “while you come late, please take note”, he said.
However, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs represented by Barr. Ejiga told the court that the matter was “slated today for hearing but due to constraints” he earlier met with the defense counsels on grounds that witness cannot be present owing to some security threats .
He also told the court that the security challenges made it very difficult to convey the witness to court.
Ejiga urged the court to adjourn the matter and also vacate the subsequent days which is subject to the court’s convenience.
He said going by records of protesters threats to lives, these witnesses were under attack and being killed in Abuja , so “with the happenings we had to take judicial notice of the personalities influence around the court”.
” My Lord , these are some of the evidences that warrant us to seek this honourable court indulgence because it is not something that just came out from the blue”, he added.
The defense counsel, Robert Clarey said the prosecution after almost two months decided to come to court and ask for another adjournment but the reason given wasn’t satisfying, “we are law abiding citizens hoping that by the next adjourned date, they may not bring another adjournment trick again”.
According to him, in a criminal prosecution, justice delayed is justice denied, and frowns at flimsy excuses by the prosecution counsel taking insecurity and threat to lives as unacceptable under the present regime that prides itself as fighting crime and criminality in Nigeria.
Claret stressed that it is a shame for the EFCC to be “laying emphasis on insecurity, to us there is no threat to lives but they are tactics used to deny the accused persons their freedom of expression”.
It would be recalled that former Governor Jonah David Jang and Yusuf Gyang were paraded for laundering 6.3 billion Naira for personal use instead of releasing the money for small and medium scale enterprises but after the expiration of his tenure there was a barbaric and nasty attack on the convoy of Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong by hoodlums last weekend