13 June 2018

Former Plateau State governor, Joshua Dariye, has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for corruption. He was accused of embezzling $3.25 million ecological funds belonging to his state.

Dariye is a serving senator representing Plateau West under the ruling party, APC. The case against him was filed in 2007. He managed to stall the case for more than a decade. He had earlier lost his bid to disqualify Justice Banjoko from presiding over his trial. Justice Banjoko took six hours to deliver the lengthy judgement.

During the trial it was revealed that Dariye wired funds from an account in the name of Ebenezer Rednar Ventures, operated with All States Trust Bank in Nigeria, into nine separate accounts he opened at Barclays Bank in London.

He was arrested on September 28, 2004 on money laundering charges in London. He jumped bail in London and ran back to Nigeria. He is still wanted in London on money laundering charges.

In another case last month, a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sentenced former Taraba State governor, Jolly Nyame to 14 years in jail and ordered the refund of monies diverted by him. The judge Adebukola Banjoko, took over five hours to deliver her lengthy judgment. Nyame is said to have transferred Taraba  state’s treasury funds of $ 4.6 million to his personal accounts.

The sentences come as Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking to shine his credentials as an anti-corruption crusader ahead of presidential elections next year.

Buhari, a 75-year-old former general, is seeking a second term in Nigeria. His so-called war against corruption was initially praised at the beginning of his term but has since been criticised for being politicised.