The Council of State on Thursday authorized the pardon of 159 convicts, including Senator Joshua Dariye of Plateau State and ex-Governor Jolly Nyame of Taraba State, who were both imprisoned for stealing N1.16 billion and N1.6 billion respectively.
The Plateau Commissioner for Information, Dan Manjang, confirmed Dariye’s pardon and declared that the ex-governor had been given a second chance.
He added “Every Plateau man is happy about it and we give kudos to the President for honouring us in this manner. We want to also thank whoever that has a hand in making it happen because everybody makes mistakes and you can make errors while in governance.
“As of today, he (Dariye) has been given a reprieve as if nothing has happened and that is the spirit we have to imbibe as a people that when we make mistakes, we have to forgive because nobody is above error.”
Mr. Christopher John, Dariye’s spokesman, also confirmed Dariye’s and Nyame’s pardons.
The fact that the ex-governors were members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had no bearing on their pardon, according to John.
He stated that both individuals were wrongfully convicted and that their pardon was a vindication of their innocence.
Dariye’s aide added, “We are so excited about this. We’ve been expecting for a long time and fortunately it has come at this time. We thank God and the government for granting him this pardon. The Nigerian system has made many court judgments unreliable. You can be roped into things you know nothing about.
“I believe that it is the will of God for him to be released. I don’t trust the Nigerian court system. Jolly Nyame was also released and we thank God. It has nothing to do with them being in the APC. It was even the PDP that charged them to court. The APC was not in power when this thing started. We know the genesis”.
Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory High Court had convicted Dariye and Nyame in 2018.
Dariye, who served as governor from 1999 to 2007, was sentenced to 14 years in prison by Justice Banjoko, who has since been elevated to the Court of Appeal, for laundering N1.162 billion in public funds.
Dariye’s sentence was reduced to ten years by the Abuja Court of Appeal, but his conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court.
Rev Nyame, who served as governor of Taraba State from 1999 to 2007, was also sentenced to 12 years in prison for stealing N1.6 billion from the state’s coffers, a verdict that was affirmed by the Supreme Court.
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