Jailed APC senator seeks re-election

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Nigerian senator jailed for fraud and money laundering has reportedly purchased the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) nomination and expression of interest form to seek re-election.

Joshua Dariye, a former governor of Plateau State, is currently serving 14 years jail term at Kuje prisons, Abuja after found guilty of money laundering, breach of trust and criminal misappropriation.

According to reports, Joshua Dariye’s personal assistant Itauna Dinka obtained the nomination form for his principal’s re-election on Friday, September 7.

The senator was on 12 June sentenced to 16 years in prison by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Justice Adebukola Banjoko, who gave the ruling, held that the former governor would serve a two-year and 14-year jail terms concurrently but did not give him an option of a fine.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission charged Dariye with money laundering in 2007. He was accused of diverting N1.126bn from the Plateau government’s ecological funds through an account, Ebenezer Reitner Ventures, an unregistered company, he operated.

Punishments imposed on the ex-governor for the two categories of offences of criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation are the maximum as provided under sections 315 and 309 of the Penal Code Act, respectively.

The judge threw out eight of the 23 charges on the grounds of either duplicity or lack of sufficient evidence.

‎Lawyer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), had in opposing the defence lawyer’s plea for mercy, urged the court to impose the maximum sentence to serve as deterrence to others.

In her ruling, Justice Banjoko said “I can’t imagine such a brazen act. Is it the transfer of as much as about half a billion naira from the state’s Ecological Fund into a personal venture account? Everybody is a victim here.”

She said from a random check of some documents tendered as exhibits, she discovered that “the defendant was, in fact, richer than his state.”

“This is a trauma of the trial; and there should be no compromise to corruption, by whatever shade or colour, or region, rich or poor; corruption will forever be corruption,”

“Every case is different on its own, and I have no personal animosity, I’m just doing my job the way I know how to, and not only the Ecological Funds were misappropriated, but funds from the Plateau State government.”

The judgment, which came at the end of about 10-year trial, saw over eight years of delay caused by the trip Dariye’s appeals attacking the validity and the competence of the charges took from the trial court to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court even as he lost all the way.

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