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Pardoned ex-gov Dariye alleges conviction for stealing politically motivated



A former Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye, said on Sunday his conviction for money laundering was politically motivated.

He stated this during a weekly pre-recorded program Newsnight on Channels Television.

The Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Gudu sentenced the former governor to 14 years imprisonment for diverting public funds to the tune of N1.126billion on June 12, 2018.

The Court of Appeal later reduced his sentence to 10 years on November 16, 2018 while Supreme Court upheld his conviction on March 12, 2021.

The National Council of State granted pardon to Dariye and former Taraba State governor, Jolly Nyame, in April and they were freed by the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) on August 8.

The former governor said: “My issue was political in the sense that the same charge was taken to Kaduna High Court, Justice Liman dismissed that case.

“They were not happy, they carried the same document to the Plateau State House of Assembly and the whole amount we are talking about is N1.1 billion.”

READ ALSO: Ex-govs Dariye, Nyame jailed for stealing, pardoned by Buhari, released from prison

Dariye broke down the money he was accused of stealing during the interview, saying N800 million went into the Plateau State account, N100 million was given to the South-West chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and N100 million went to the ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s campaign organization, among other places.

Dariye insisted that if he had planned to steal the money, he would have laundered it through commission and turnover.

He added: “The judge asked if Mr. Dariye wanted to convert money into his personal use, will he use his letterhead and write the bank ‘Pls distribute as follows?’”

“I am a chartered accountant and I wouldn’t have been that foolish. If I wanted to steal, I would have lodged the money in Commission and turnover but that never happened.

“But because it was politically motivated, the other vehicle of prosecution – EFCC – became the only veritable tool. I don’t think there was any sense of justice but I leave the rest to God. Time will tell.”

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