There was jubilation in Jos, the Plateau State capital, on Thursday after the court granted N100m bail to former Governor Jonah Jang, who was charged with an alleged fraud.
A former cashier in the Office of the Secretary to the Plateau State Government, Yusuf Pam, who was charged along with Jang, also got bail in the sum of N50m.
While the trial judge, Justice Daniel Longji, granted Jang N100m bail with two sureties, one of whom must a first-class traditional ruler within the jurisdiction of the court; Pam’s N50m bail was with one surety in like sum.
The judge said the surety to be produced by Pam must be a person not below the status of a Permanent Secretary or its equivalent.
Jang and Pam were ordered to surrender their passports to the registrar of the court.
The court adjourned till July 17, 18 and 19, 2018 for trial.
Shortly after the court ruling on Thursday, the Gbong Gwom Jos, Jacob Gyang Buba, showed up in court to stand as Jang’s surety.
A mild drama, however, ensued when some youths and Jang’s supporters blocked the path of prison warders, insisting that he should not be taken back to prison.
The former governor was eventually released to his supporters right on the court premises, from where he was taken home.
Jang, in a statement personally signed by him and issued some minutes after being granted bail, said he had forgiven his detractors and bore no grudges against anybody.
While accusing the EFCC of keeping him in detention where he was “deprived of the inalienable right to personal freedom and association,” Jang said his brief stay in prison “has been a rare privilege by all standards of estimation, to be granted the opportunity to share the gospel of our Lord and Saviour to many souls I met in captivity.”
Jang and Pam were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on 12 counts bordering on alleged misuse of some special funds released to Plateau State by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The EFCC said they perpetrated the alleged fraud few months to the end of Jang’s tenure as governor in 2015.