The Federal Government of Nigeria under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has opted to set free a former governor of Taraba State, Jolly Nyame, after a Presidential pardon for him was approved by the Nigerian Council of State.
Reverend Jolly Nyame was convicted of 27 count charges bothering on allegations of criminal breach of trust, receiving of gratification, obtaining without due consideration and misappropriation of public funds while he was governor of Taraba state between 1999 and 2007.
He was consequently sentenced to a 12 year jail term in 2020 after several years of court trials. He was also asked to pay a fine of N495 million for the various convictions in his case.
However, the Nigeria Council of State in a meeting held at the Aso Villa on Thursday, the ex-governor was approved to be granted a presidential pardon by the President Buhari’s administration.
According to a source who spoke with SaharaReporters, the pardon is more of a political move by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The Council of State today agreed to grant him pardon. They will now write to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, who will now ratify it and write to the prison to release him.
“It is a political move. It is a plot for the ruling party, All Progressives Congress, to win Taraba State in the next elections. Buhari lobbied other members of the Council of State to secure Nyame’s release,” the top source said.
“It is just a formality from the AGF to release him once the Council already approved it. The Council considered that the amount Nyame was jailed for is not as big as what other politicians and former governors stole,” another source corroborated.
Jolly Nyame who had his initial 14 years jail sentence reduced to 12 years by the appeal court in February 2020 has served two years with 10 more expected years in jail.
The appellate court as at the time, said Mr Nyame ought to have been given capital punishment, but for the constitutional constraint on the court to stick to the provisions of the law.