31st May, 2018.
Benin City, Nigeria…The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has hailed the decision of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory to send a former governor of Taraba State, Rev. Jolly Nyame to a jail term of 14 years for stealing public monies to the tune of N1.64 billion.
Commending the court decision and the gaps it closed against the convicted ex-governor to wriggle out of the sentence, ANEEJ Executive Director, the Rev David Ugolor said that even though the conviction of Jolly Nyame took a long time to come, the wheels of justice have finally rolled and have sent a strong signal to other rogue politically exposed persons that judgement day is nigh.
‘This is a most welcome development, and the chicken has come home to roost. We recognize the efforts of the Federal government, of stakeholders who worked hard to put this case on the front burner, and the tenacity of the Anti-Corruption Agencies who have braved the odds to confront high-profile cases of politically exposed persons who dipped their hands in the public purse’, the Rev Ugolor said in a statement to the press.
The case of Jolly Nyame is just one among a litany of high-profile corruption cases proffered against many ex-governors, ex-ministers and ex-public servants. A seminal work credited to the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, Justice or Impunity – High Profile Corruption Cases Crawling or Gone to Sleep says that 15 ex-governors, four ex-ministers, 5 ex-legislators, 12 ex-public servants at both the Federal and State levels together nearly milked Nigeria dry, in a country with abysmal levels of poverty and underdevelopment.
“Convicting former Governor Jolly Nyame is good news. Dispossessing him of the looted assets is key to ending corruption because when looters are not allowed to enjoy proceeds of corruption, that would go a long way in ending the business of corruption. ANEEJ equally believes that if the same kind of will put to bear to convict the former governor of Taraba state is applied on all of these high-profile corruption cases, Nigeria would not be needing to use the institutional mechanisms of foreign countries to rein in the corrupt in Nigeria. This is the time to use this case as a deterrent to future cases of official misdemeanor’, the Rev Ugolor said in the statement.