Friday 26 November 2021


By: Valentine Adese (JP) and Paul Naomi,

As the case brought by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FRN) against the former governor of Plateau State, Sen. Jonah David Jang, continued today, the 26th of November, 2021, at the Plateau State High Court, a former Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet office under Special Services, Mr. Habila Dung has told the court presided over by Hon. Justice C. Dabup that, monies that were withdrawn by the former Cashier in the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Mr. Yusuf Pam, who is also standing trial alongside Sen. Jang, were used to tackle and maintain security challenges when Jang was in office as governor.

According to him, the security issues were very serious as bombs were exploding in most places.

Earlier, in Examination in Chief by the prosecuting Counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) yesterday, the 25th of November, 2021, Mr. Habila, in detail, told the court that, before his retirement, he was the Perm Sec at the Cabinet office under Special Services and that he also doubles as, the Assistant Secretary to the State Security Council (SSC).

He said, “I am Habila Dung. I am a Plateau man from Jos-South Local Government Area (LGA). I am a retired Civil Servant from Plateau State.

“I retired in September, 2015, as a Permanent Secretary (Perm Sec) at the Cabinet Office. I was posted there in December, 2014 and I stayed up to September, 2015.

“As a Perm Sec, my schedule is that of, Head of Administration, at the Cabinet and Special Services. I was also the Assistant Secretary of the State Security Council (SSC).

“I became Perm Sec in 2013 and first served at the office of the Head of Service. Then I served at the Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, before the Cabinet and Special Service in the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG).

“I took over my last office from one Mr. Richard Tongman, who served there for three months, after Sen. I. D. Gyang retired from the office.

“As an Assistant Secretary in the SSC, my duty was to take notes during Council meetings and coordinate the work in the secretariat.

“My highest qualification is Masters in International Relations and Strategic Studies”.

However, under serious probing from Cross-Examination questions from E. G. Pwajok (SAN), counsel to the 1st Defendant (Sen. Jang) who was leading other Lawyers, and S. Oyawole (Esq) who was led by S. G. Odey (Esq), Mr. Habila claimed not to have full knowledge of Plateau State Civil Service Rules. He explained that since he retired he does not know much of its contents anymore.

Mr. Habila disclosed under cross examination that, the cheques Mr. Yusuf used in the withdrawals of the huge cash under investigation were signed by him personally and that he is aware that there was no complaint against any deductions in the sums that were drawn, at that time by Mr. Yusuf hence, he never gave Mr. Yusuf any query.

When asked, if he was there at all times when, Mr. Yusuf delivers the cash to the 1st Defendant (Sen. Jang) as alleged, Mr. Habila told the court that he was there only twice, but for a different purpose and that the story he told the court about the delivery of the money by, Mr. Pam was as Mr. Pam told him after allegedly delivering the huge withdrawals.

He also told the court that, Mr. Pam is a subordinate under him in his office and so, he deals with him directly.

Still under cross examination, Mr. Habila revealed to the court that, there is a culture in his office that, recipients of money do not sign after collection and that he observed the anomalies and only verbally discussed it with the Head of Service, who was then, Mr. Ezekiel Dalyop.

According to him, he discovered it was a tradition when he was informed by the Cashier and the Director of Finance hence, he could not make any change.

He said the same system is been adopted by the current administration led by Governor Simon Bako Lalong.

Mr. Habila Dung as a fact, told the court that, the beneficiaries of the monies withdrawn during the era of Sen. Jang, as governor was the State and not the 1st Defendant (Sen. Jang) or Mr. Yusuf Pam (the former Cashier).

The EFCC’s witness, Mr. Habila, under further cross-examination with exhibits before the court, confirmed that, one Mr. Eric Kangnaan, who took over from Mr. Pam, also had withdrawn huge monies for the current Governor, Simon Bako Lalong using the same process and had delivered the monies to the Governor.

He said, “Exhibit P25 on 8th July, 2015 shows that, there are 19 debt entries, from 1st to the 19th. I raised cheques for N10million for each drawing because the circumstances of insecurity are similar to that faced by Sen. Jang as governor and these drawings are during the incumbent governor Simon Lalong.

“On the 16th of July, 2015, there are three debts from cheques raised by me on the OSSG Account .

“On 6th August, 2015, the amount of debt entries was N76million and the person who went to the Bank was Mr. Eric Kangnaan. The title of the cheque was (Government House Admin Inflows).

“On 16th September, 2015, three debts of N10million each was drawn in favour of same, Mr. Eric Kangnaan the person, who took over from Mr. Pam as Cashier.

“And on the 18th of September, there are two (2) N10million drawings, N8miliion, N9million, N810 thousand and these cheques were in favour of Mr. Eric.

“From my Knowledge, the 2nd Defendant (Mr. Pam) is a beneficiary of the Ration Cash Allowance (RCA) being a staff of the Cabinet and Special Service Department, and he is free to use his money the way he likes or save same”.

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