Jolly Nyame: Story Of A Reverend Turned Governor, Turned Prisoner

The ex-governor was on Wednesday convicted of misappropriating N1.64 billion from the state’s treasury through shoddy stationery contracts which he awarded at the tail of his eight years administration that ended in 2007.
It was one of the longest trials that eventually (started in 2007). The conviction earned the former governor the ill-repute of being the second governor to be jailed in Nigeria by a court for stealing public funds while in office; after James Ngilari, former governor of Adamawa state who was in March 2017 jailed five years for corruption. Mr Ngilari’s conviction was later u pturned by the appeal court.
The Rise and Fall of Reverend Jolly Tavoro Nyame
Once upon a time in a remote village of Zing in the Northeastern part of Nigeria, a child was born five years before the country got its freedom from British colonialists.
This child was considered a very special child because he came forth on the day the world was celebrating Christmas – the birthday of Jesus Christ.
His parents, of deep christian background were so overjoyed that they named him Jolly and wished that he grew to be a humble servant in the vineyard of thy Lord.
This child followed the path of his parents’ wish and grew up to take a vocation in the priesthood.
He continued to excel in all his ecclesiastic endeavours till he became an ordained Reverend gentleman of the United Methodists Church of Nigeria (UMCN).
Despite his stint in the Vineyard of God, this special child would later be attracted by the trappings of politics – a trajectory that would soon make him to fall short of the glory of God.
He joined politics at a time the nation was attempting to return to democratic rule in 1991 and would later become the first clergyman to become a governor in Nigeria.
He was also the first governor of the then newly created Taraba state.
Though his tenure, that started in January 1992 was short-lived by a military insurrection in November 1993, the people of Taraba who were still thrilled by the idea of having a “man of God” as their governor voted for him again when Nigeria decided to finally return to democratic rule in 1999.
Mr Nyame ruled Taraba for eight uninterrupted years between 1999 and 2007 after winning re-election in 2003.
Unfortunately, during his time, the anointed man-of-God did not did not give a good account of himself; as his tenure was marred with all kinds of unwholesome practices that fell short of the character of a good leader.
Mr Nyame left his state and his dear people even poorer than they were, many say.
He did not leave, however, until he stuffed his pockets and his bank accounts with monies stolen from the treasury of Taraba State government via criminally manipulated contract awards that were never executed
On Wednesday, May 30, about 12 years after he left office, a Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, found him guilty of massive corruption. He was sentenced to 14 years behind bars.

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