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The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed the conviction and sentence of a former Governor of Taraba State, Jolly Nyame, to 12 years imprisonment for N1.6bn corruption charges.
But a five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, in its unanimous judgment, set aside the N100m fine imposed on him by the Court of Appeal.
Delivering the lead judgment of the court on Nyame’s appeal, Justice Amina Augie, held that the Court of Appeal was wrong to have imposed the fine on him without hearing from the appellant.
“The lower court ought to have heard from the parties, especially, the appellant who appealed for the reduction of the sentence imposed by the trial court, before imposing those fines on him,” Justice Augie ruled.
She, however, affirmed the guilt and conviction of the ex-governor by upholding the Court of Appeal’s reduction of the 14 years’ imprisonment to 12 years.
The judge, who held that the ex-governor’s appeal succeeded in part, ruled saying, “Allowing the appeal in its entirety is a tall order, but there is no question that the fines were a nullity”.
Nyame’s appeal was against the November 16, 2018 judgment of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal which had affirmed Nyame’s conviction by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the FCT High Court had on May 30, 2018, convicted Nyame on a total of 27 out of the 41 corruption charges involving about N1.6bn preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.