Former Governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, was on Wednesday arraigned at the Jos High Court for allegedly misappropriating N6.3 billion. Jang, who was arraigned alongside one Yusuf Gyang Pam by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 12- count charge, pleaded not guilty to the charges. The defence counsel, Robert Clark (SAN), pleaded that the ex-governor be granted bail on self recognition.
The EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacob (SAN), however objected to Jang’s application for bail, asking the court to look at the seriousness of the offence, the nature of the charge, the evidence available, the probability of the accused appearing constantly in the trial and the weight of the punishment. According to him, Sections 36(5) which provides that everybody who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until he is proven guilty is not in line with the law that governs the criminal prosecution against Jang and Pam.
He said, “Any offence that exceeds three years should not be treated as ordinary and presumable for bail.” But after listening to arguments from both parties, Justice Daniel Longji said he would need time to analyze the arguments for and against the bail application in comparison with the charges. He adjourned ruling on the bail application till May 24. He said: ‘There is a situation here where the Law becomes an axe. I have not studied the charges and I cannot use my personal knowledge of the accused persons to ask him to go on bail. “They should be remanded in prison pending the ruling on his bail on Thursday next week.”