My Imprisonment Was Politically Motivated, Says Dariye

My Imprisonment Was Politically Motivated, Says Dariye
Joshua Dariye

Former governor of Plateau state Joshua Dariye has claimed that his imprisonment for fraud involving N1.126 billion was “politically driven.”

Dariye spoke in an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight, a pre-recorded show which airs every Monday.

Dariye was governor of Plateau between 1999 and 2007.

Dariye was charged in 2007 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on allegations of diverting N1.126 billion from the ecological fund of the Plateau government.

Dariye was given a 14-year prison term by Adebukola Banjoko, a federal capital territory (FCT) high court judge, in June 2018.

In November 2018, the Court of Appeal in Abuja reduced the sentence to 10 years.

In March 2021, the Supreme Court also upheld the appellate court’s judgement of guilt and the sentence of imprisonment.

Also Read: Dariye, Nyame Finally Released From Prison

In April, the council of state meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari pardoned Dariye and Jolly Nyame, former Taraba governor.

The former governors were granted pardons on the grounds of age and ill health.

Speaking on the development, the former Plateau governor stated that as a chartered accountant, he would not have stolen in that manner.

“My issue was political in the sense that the same charge was taken to Kaduna high court, Justice Liman dismissed that case,” he said in the interview.

“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.

“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.”