12 June 2018

Nigeria: Another Former Governor Accused of Fraud Knows Fate Today

Photo: The Guardian
Senator Joshua Dariye.

A Federal Capital Territory High Court will on Tuesday deliver judgement in an alleged case of fraud brought against former Plateau State governor, Joshua Dariye.

Mr Dariye is accused of diverting N1.162 billion from the state's treasury while he served as governor.

He was first elected governor of the state in 1999 under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.

He was re-elected in 2003, but later impeached by the State's house of assembly in November, 2006.

Following judgements of the Appeal and Supreme Courts nullifying his impeachment however, Mr Dariye was ordered to complete his tenure in 2007.

The prosecution, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, arraigned the defendant on a 21-count for the alleged offence shortly after the expiration of his tenure in May 2007.

According to the anti-graft agency, Mr Dariye used his office to siphon money out of the country, through various accounts.

Mr Dariye fought a seemingly endless battle to prevent his trial, from the lower court to the Supreme Court.

Ahead of his arraignment in 2007, Mr Dariye challenged the competence of the charges against him, but failed at the trial court.

Subsequently the ex-governor approached the Court of Appeal where he also failed in his attempt to stop the trial.

Mr Dariye who had secured an order for the suspension of his trial at the lower court, also proceeded to the Supreme Court with his appeal. He was, however, made to continue the trial following an order of the apex court in 2015, after stalling the case for over seven years.

The former governor controversially employed the services of a former Attorney General of the federation, Kanu Agabi, who headed the justice ministry when the charge against the defendant was first brought.

He is currently a senator on the platform of Nigeria's ruling party, APC, to which he decamped in 2016. He was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The judge, Olasumbo Banjoko, slated Tuesday for judgement after entertaining the final address of counsel.

Mrs Banjoko is the same judge who sentenced another former Taraba governor, Jolly Nyame to 14 years imprisonment on May 30.

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