Jang vs EFCC case: ICPC lied against us, witnesses tell court
Gyang Bere, Jos
Two Defense witnesses, former Cashier in the office of the Secretary to the Plateau state Government, Mr Yusuf Pam and a Manager with the Plateau Express Services, Mr Gyang Sha on Friday told a Jos High Court presided over by Justice Daniel Longji that the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) gave false information to the court to implicate them in the ongoing trial of the former Governor of the state, Senator Jonah Jang.
Mr Taiwo Olorunyomi, an Investigator with the ICPC, had in the penultimate week, testified before the court that two written statements which the antigraft agency obtained from Mr Pam, who is facing N6.3bn charges along side the former Governor, were voluntary.
Mr Olorunyomi who was the 8th witness called by the EFCC Prosecution Counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs had also claimed that Mr Pam made the statement in the presence of Mr Gyang Sha, during interrogation at their Abuja office on 17th and 23rd November, 2016.
The Prosecution Council, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, SAN had sought to tender the written statements as evidence in the court but the Defence Counsel, Mr Mike Ozekhome (SAN), had objected to the admission of the statement on the grounds that it was not obtained voluntarily, a development which made Justice Daniel Longji, who presided over the case, to order for a trial-within-trial in order to ascertain the voluntariness of the controversial documents.
At the resumed hearing of the case in Jos on Friday, Mr Pam being led in evidence by the Defense Counsels, Mr Benson Igbanoi and Mr Sunday Oyawole Sunday said that the ICPC official lied before the court as Mr Gyang Sha was never present when he was being interrogated at the ICPC office.
Pam who narrated how he was threatened at the two different occasions by the ICPC officials during interrogation at their Abuja office to make the statements, insisted that the two written statements which he gave were not voluntarily obtained.
Pam said, “My Lord, the ICPC official, Mr Taiwo Olorunyomi, lied. Though Mr Gyang Sha drove me to Abuja, he was not with me during my interrogation with the ICPC. Whenever they were not satisfied with my answer, they will activate the threat to detain and jail me, then the answer I will give will be as a result of the threat. The same pattern followed my interrogation when I gave the two statements”
Mr Gyang Sha who was also led in evidence by the Defense Counsels under cross examination also testified that the ICPC official lied as he was never present when Mr Pam was being interrogated.
Sha said” My Lord, I was not present when Mr Pam was being interrogated by the ICPC. I was in a separate room, at my friend’s office and I did not leave my friend’s office throughout the interrogation.
“I never had any interaction with Pam between the time he left for the interrogation and the time he returned.”
Justice Daniel Longji subsequently adjourned the case to 13th and 14th June 2019 for continuation of hearing.