The Supreme Court sitting in Abuja, on Friday, February 7, has affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeal which sentenced former Taraba State governor, John Nyame to 12 years imprisonment for breach of trust and misappropriation of public funds.
But a five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, in its unanimous judgment, set aside the hundreds of millions Naira fine imposed on him by the Court of Appeal.
Delivering the lead judgment of the court on Nyame’s appeal, Justice Amina Augie, held that the Court of Appeal was wrong to have imposed the fine on him without hearing from the appellant.
“The lower court ought to have heard from the parties, especially, the appellant who appealed for the reduction of the sentence imposed by the trial court, before imposing those fines on him,” Justice Augie ruled.
She, however, affirmed the guilt and conviction of the ex-governor by upholding the Court of Appeal’s reduction of the 14 years’ imprisonment to 12 years.
The judge, who held that the ex-governor’s appeal succeeded in part, ruled saying, “Allowing the appeal in its entirety is a tall order, but there is no question that the fines were a nullity”.
Jolly Nyame had earlier appealed the November 16th, 2018 court of appeal judgment which affirmed his conviction by an FCT high court.
He approached the Supreme Court to among other things evaluate the evidence with which he was convicted, review his sentences, and verify whether the charges were valid.
The Apex Court, however, affirmed all the decisions of the Appeal Court, except for the fines.