By: Valentine Adese,
The Plateau state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has just raised alarm that, Senator Jonah David Jang, who is at the Economic and Financial Commission detention, has been refused medication since over 24 hours that he was arrested by the Commission.
Likening the situation to the arrest and detentions of Senator Dino and Metu, the PDP said Sen. Jang has also been denied access to his lawyers and family members since he was arrested.
The PDP in a press conference, addressed by the state Chairman, Hon. D.T. Sango, who was flanked by other members of the state EXCO, after a meeting of the State Working Committee (SWC) at the state party’s Secretariat and after delving extensively on the issue of the arrest and detention of the Senator by the EFCC, resolved that, “the bail and unlawful detention of Senator Jang, is part of an orchestrated plan of the ruling All progressive Congress (APC), to clamp down on the opposition.”
The press briefing statement by Hon. Sango in part reads:
- That while the appropriate agencies of government are at liberty to discharge their statutory and Constitutional mandates, due diligence, respect for due process and the rule of law must be followed.
- That as a sitting Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a former Governor, and Elder Statesmen, Senator Jonah Jang who is presently under the custody of the EFCC has been denied bail more than 48 hours in detention. This we consider a gross violation of his fundamental rights as provided for under the constitution of the Federal Republic.
- That we consider this bail denial and unlawful detention of Senator Jang, as part of the orchestrated plan of the ruling APC Government to clamp down on the opposition.
- That while we appeal for calm amongst the part faithful, supporters and well wishers, we call on the authorities of the EFCC to as a matter of urgency grant Senator Jang and others being unlawfully detained bail. In making this appeal, we are mindful of his health condition and the fact that he is denied access to his lawyers, family and medication.
You would reacall that REALITY had reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed 12 charges against the immediate past Governor of Plateau State, Senator Jonah Jang, for an alleged fraud of N6.3bn.
The EFCC, which filed the case before a High Court sitting in Plateau State on Monday, accused Jang of perpetrating the fraud two months to the end of his tenure as governor in 2015.
Jang, who currently represents Plateau-North Senatorial District, is alleged by the EFCC to have embezzled some special funds released to the state by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
In one of the counts, the former governor, among other things, is been accused of diverting N2bn released by the CBN for disbursement to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in the state under the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Funds, just a month before the expiration of his tenure in April 2015.
Jang is also said to have abused his office as the governor by collecting money to the tune of N4.3bn from the state coffers through the cashier of the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Yusuf Pam.
Pam, who is expected to be arraigned alongside Sen. Jang, is allegedly charged and accused to have corruptly used his office for personal enrichment to the tune of N11.5m by the EFCC.
REALITY also gathered that the charge had been served on the former governor but, no date had been fixed for his arraignment alongside Pam.
However, reports also reaching REALITY indicate that the Senators supporters and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are already viewing the move of the EFCC, as a mere witch-hunt.
According to them, Jang has shown the best stride of governance and his physical achievements in the state are there for everyone to see.
You would however recall that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, had in their campaign promises, promised to recover alleged loots of Sen. Jang’s administration in the state.
In an earlier move, the administration had set up a committee to assess the state debt, which was placed a little above N222bn and later set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCI), to look into the contracts and other transactions entered by the same administration.
You would recall that Sen. Jang’s Bid to stop the publication by the APC administration led by Governor Simon Bako Lalong had failed at the lower court.