n a judgment on Friday, a five-man panel of the Supreme Court said Nyame’ appeal partially succeeded.
The apex court upheld the portion of the Court of Appeal judgment relating to conviction and sentencing but set aside the portion of the judgment which imposed millions of naira fines on the ex-Governor.
Justice Amina Augie, who read the lead judgment, said the Court of Appeal imposed the fines without any prompting by either of the parties to the case.
“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.
Nyame had appealed against the November 16, 2018 judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which affirmed his conviction by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Gudu, Abuja in a judgment given on May 30, 2018 by Justice Adebukola Banjoko.
In the May 30 judgment, given in the charge marked: FCT/ABJ/CR/82/07, the trial court convicted Nyame on 27 out of the 41 counts contained in the charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in July 2007.
The former governor was convicted and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment with the highest being 14 years for offences bordering on criminal breach of trust, criminal misappropriation, taking valuable thing without consideration and receiving gratification as a public officer.
In its judgment delivered on November 16, 2018, the Court of Appeal affirmed the guilt of the former governor.
But citing section 416 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 which prohibits the imposition of maximum sentences on first offenders, the Court of Appeal reduced the 14 years’ imprisonment to 12.
In addition to the 12 years’ sentence, however, the Justice Abdul Aboki-led panel of the Court of Appeal imposed a fine of N100m on Nyame, a punishment the trial court had omitted in the judgment delivered on May 30, 2018.
The former governor had appealed against the judgment of the Court of Appeal.
At the Supreme Court’s hearing of the appeal on November 14, 2019, Nyame’s lawyer, Ahmed Raji, SAN, urged the court “to allow the appeal”.
But the counsel representing the EFCC, the respondent, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, backed by Oluwaleke Atolagbe, urged the court to dismiss it.
While the apex court, in its judgment on Friday, affirmed the ex-governor’s guilt and his sentencing to 12 years’ imprisonment, it nullified the N100m fine imposed on him.