Sylvester Chuwang-Davou, a prosecution witness in the N6.3 billion
fraud case against Sen. Jonah Jang, has said that the former Plateau
Governor’s administration borrowed the N2 billion CBN Small and Medium
Scale funds to execute projects.
“What I know about the N2bn CBN funds meant for the Plateau Small and
Medium Enterprise Development Agency (PLASMEDA), was that when the
funds arrived, the money was transferred into the ministry of finance to
meet urgent state matters.
“I was the General Manager of PLASMEDA and can testify that that was
exactly what happened,” Chuwang-Davou, a retired Perm Secretary, told
the Plateau State High Court trying Jang, on Tuesday in Jos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the former PLASMEDA
General Manager is the fifth prosecution witness in the case brought
against Jang and Yusuf Pam, a former cashier in the Plateau Government
The two accused persons are being tried over the alleged fraud said to have been committed between Sept. 2010 and Oct. 2014.
They are facing a 12-count charge bordering on conspiracy and money
laundering allegedly committed when Jang was the governor of the
The EFCC, Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, is alleging that the
defendants had conspired to defraud the state of the said amount
(N6.3bn), via illegal acts, contrary to, and punishable under, sections
15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act) 2011, as
Chuwang-Davou, in his testimony before the presiding Judge, Justice
Daniel Longji, said that the Jang administration established PLASMEDA in
order to access the N2bn loan from CBN, to develop the small and medium
enterprises in the state.
“But when the funds hit the account of the state in Zenith Bank, the
ministry of finance borrowed the money to meet what it said were urgent
state matters, which I later learnt was for execution of projects
“Up till when Jang’s administration wound up in 2015, the money was
not returned to the account of PLASMEDA and neither did any
Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs), including Cooperative
Societies, benefited from the funds.
“This was largely because none of the PFIs did open an account with
the CBN to enable it access the funds for the purpose it was meant
for,’’ Chuwang-Davou explained.
When the Prosecuting Counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), asked the
witness whether Jang was a signatory to either Project One Account or
PLASMEDA, Chuwang-Davou replied in the negative.
“Jang wasn’t a signatory to either of the accounts,” he declared.
During cross examination, Mr. Mike Ezekhome (SAN), the defence
counsel, asked the prosecution witness whether Jang ordered the N2bn to
be transferred into the Project one account instead of PLASMEDA account,
to which he equally replied in the negative.
“Not at all. Jang did not,” he said.
According to him, the CBN on its own transferred the funds into project one account instead of PLASMEDA account.
He further said that it was also the responsibility of CBN to ensure
the meeting up of the criteria toward accessing the funds by PFIs.
“Unfortunately, none of the PFIs even applied to CBN to access the
fund till the administration of Jang ended on May 28, 2015,”’ he said.
Ezekhome also asked the witness if he was aware that the N2bn fund
was borrowed by Jang, to which Chuwang-Davou also replied in the
“I never mentioned that money was borrowed by the ex-Governor. Jang did not borrow the money.
“I was told by the former Accountant General of the state that the
money (N2 billion), was captured in Jang’s handing over notes to the
“This is because I kept following up the refund into the account of
PLASMEDA until the end of the administration, but learnt that there were
no funds for such,” the prosecution witness declared.
Justice Longji has adjourned the case to Wednesday, March 6, for continuation of hearing