31st May, 2018
MURIC WELCOMES JOLLY NYAME’S SENTENCE
Ex-Governor Jolly Nyame was yesterday sentenced to fourteen years imprisonment by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory headed by Justice Adebukola Banjoko. The judge also ordered the refund of the sum of N1.64 billion diverted by the ex-governor since May, 2007. Mr Nyame spearheaded the fraudulent transfer of funds from the Taraba state’s treasury to Saman Global, a company which supplies office equipment and stationeries but the goods were never delivered.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) commends the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for doing a thorough investigation.
We also laud the judge who delivered the landmark judgement for her boldness and forthrightness. There is no doubt that her pronouncement will serve as a deterrent for other kleptomaniacs in public service. This judgement marks the beginning of active participation of the judiciary and its cooperation with the executive in anti-graft war.
In addition, we give kudos to the Federal Government (FG) for vigorously pursuing the war against corruption. Nyame’s imprisonment has cemented the resolve of this administration to bring about change in Nigeria. This will bring to five the number of ex-governors sent to jail since the beginning of President Muhammadu Buhari’s war against corruption.
Although he was later set free, James Bala Ngilari, ex-governor of Adamawa State, bagged five years in March 2017. Babangida Aliyu, former Niger State governor, tasted the bitter pill on 25th April, 2017 when he was remanded in prison. Sule Lamido, ex-governor of Jigawa State was also remanded in prison on 2nd May, 2017. Jonah Jang, the former governor of Plateau State was remanded in prison custody on May 16, 2018. It is an unprecedented challenge of the status quo ante.
MURIC therefore calls on Nigerians to show appreciation for this positive development. It implies that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Those who had lost hope in the Nigerian project should now reposition themselves as more evidence has emerged to prove that the stage is set for a better Nigeria.
The main reason for people losing hope in this country has been the general lack of accountability. Crooks in government were stealing with impunity and nobody was ever questioned or arrested. Our values were bastardised. Criminals were celebrated. But change is here. Those who stole our common patrimony are now being made to face the music. It therefore behoves true patriots to rally behind President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration.
Finally, we urge FG to remain focused and consistent in its efforts to clean up the mess in Nigeria and to restore the good name of this great country in the comity of nations. There must be no retreat, no surrender. We charge other judges to emulate Justice Adebukola Banjoko. Judges must sum up enough courage to deal with executive thieves standing trial before them as quickly as possible.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)