Following the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja which sentenced former Governor Jolly Nyame of Taraba State to 14 years’ imprisonment, residents of Taraba have urged him to appeal the judgment.
Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Gudu, Abuja, had, on Wednesday, found the former governor guilty of 27 of the 41 counts preferred against him.
Nyame, who was charged with 41 counts of misappropriating the sum of N1.64bn in 2007, was found guilty of breach of trust involving fraudulent approval of N250m for the purchase of stationery and office equipment on December 30, 2004.
But reacting to the ruling, some residents of Taraba who spoke to our correspondent called on their former governor to approach the Court of Appeal which they said would overturn the ruling of the lower court.
One of the respondents, Barrister Nierus Johnson, said the former governor still have windows of redress ahead if he has good ground of appeal and urged him and his team of lawyers to consider testing the decision of the high court at the court of appeal.
Again, Mohammed Umar, who said he had worked closely with the former governor, urged him to appeal the judgment of the Federal High Court.
He described as “laughable” the decision of the court to sentence the former governor, saying Nyame had laid a solid foundation for a greater Taraba, and that the issues the court relied on would be quashed at the Appeal Court.
On the allegations that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari was being selective in the fight against corruption, Nierus said the government should prosecute people across the board so as to be seen as being holistic.
“The fight against corruption in the country today seems to be one-sided and targeted at opposition. We want the government to be holistic and focused in the fight against corruption.
“Today, if you are accused of corruption and you cross over to APC, nobody talks about it again.
“I remember the case of one of the former governors of Plateau State, but since he crossed carpet to APC, the issue has died a natural death. We have several of such cases in the country today,” Nierus said.
Mrs. Tabitha Kassa, a market woman who said she had enjoyed goodwill during the tenure of the former governor, urged him not to be deterred by the high court judgment, noting that the decision of the high court was not final.