Alleged N10bn fraud: EFCC grills ex-Plateau gov, Jang, for eight hours

Jonah Jang

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday interrogated former governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State for alleged fraud of over N10bn.

Jang, who is the senator representing Plateau-North Senatorial District, arrived at the Abuja office of the EFCC around 10am and was grilled for several hours after which he was released around 8pm.

A source at the EFCC said, “Senator Jang honoured an invitation on Tuesday. He arrived in the morning and was released around 8pm. He was asked to return on Wednesday (today).”

Jang, who was governor from 2007 to 2015, was said to have been invited following a series of petitions written against him.

In one of such petitions written by the Plateau State Government, it was alleged that the former governor embezzled some special funds released to the state by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

For instance, it was alleged that N2bn was released by the CBN for the Small and Medium Enterprises just a month before the expiration of his tenure in April 2015 but the funds suddenly went missing.

The anti-graft agency is also investigating a suspicious contract of the computerisation of the Ministry of Finance to a firm, Nix Technologies, for N97, 925, 000 by the ministry.

The money was said to have been paid twice for the same contract.

The Jang government also allegedly got N6.1bn from the State Universal Basic Education Board, the state’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

It was further alleged that “Jang collected N982, 526451.02 from the Plateau State Government using a front company, Darmatist Consult, for a purported, non-existent recovery of N7.56bn from Nasarawa State. The money was paid to Darmatist as a consultancy fee.

The former governor, however, denied the allegations levelled against him, insisting that his tenure as the governor of  the state was characterised by several achievements.

According to a statement issued in Jos and signed by his Senior Legislative Aide, Mr. Olivia Dazyam, the lawmaker honoured the EFCC invitation to simply give account of his stewardship.

The statement read in part, “The senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Jonah Jang, is pleased to honour the invitation of the EFCC to give an account of his meritorious stewardship to the people of Plateau State, when he served as their governor for eight years from 2007 to 2015.

“As a man whose seasoned record of achievements in all ramifications of governance are scattered across the nooks and crannies of Plateau State, with visible infrastructural spectacles in all 17 local government areas, he is a firm believer in the mandate of the EFCC where genuine probity and accountability are concerned.

“The senator is calling on his friends, supporters, and well-wishers to remain unperturbed as he has nothing to hide with respect to the sterling legacy of performance he has so far established in public life.” Punch

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