N1.1bn Fraud: Ex-Plateau Gov Dariye Sentenced To 14 Years In Prison
An FCT High Court sitting in Gudu, has sentenced Joshua Dariye, a former Governor of Plateau State to 14 years in prison for criminal breach of trust, and additional 2 years for misappropriation of public funds.
After a trial that lasted about 8 hours, Justice Adebukola Banjoko, in her ruling, sentenced Dariye to jail and noted that Dariye was in fact richer than his state, and “there should be no compromise to corruption by whatever shade or colour, rich or poor”.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in 2007 preferred 23 counts of money laundering involving alleged diversion of about N1.126bn Plateau State Government’s ecological funds against Dariye.
After pleading not guilty to the charges, the trial judge, Justice Adebukola Banjoko, fixed November 13, 2007, for the commencement of trial.
Before the trial could begin proper, however, Dariye filed an application challenging the competence of the charges and the jurisdiction of the court. He argued that he ought to be tried before a Plateau State High Court and not the FCT High Court.
On December 13, 2007, the trial judge heard and dismissed Dariye’s application for lacking in merit. Dariye appealed against the ruling of the court. But the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of Justice Banjoko. Dariye subsequently took the matter to the Supreme Court.
On February 27, 2015, the Supreme Court dismissed Dariye’s appeal and ordered him to submit himself for trial.
Dariye, who now represents Plateau-Central senatorial district, presented 16 defence witnesses while the EFCC presented 10 including Peter Clark, a former Metropolitan Policeman, who investigated him in the United Kingdom.
Clark, who is the key witness, said Dariye was still wanted in the United Kingdom for money laundering charges.
He gave details of Dariye’s alleged extravagant spending, including the purchase of a pen for £7,000 (N3.4m) in London, before the former governor was arrested.
Recall that same Justice Banjoko, on May 30, 2018, sentenced a former Governor of Taraba State, Jolly Nyame, to 14 years in prison for N1.64bn fraud.