The jailed but pardoned former Governor of Plateau State, Chief Joshua Dariye, has finally regained his freedom four months after he was granted state pardon by the Council of State.
The former governor-turned-senator was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for N1.16 billion fraud.
On June 12, 2018, Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the FCT High Court found Dariye guilty and sentenced him to 14 years in prison for criminal breach of trust, and additional two years for misappropriation of public funds. Both sentences, the judge had ordered, were to run concurrently.
The EFCC had slammed a 23-count amended charge on the former Plateau Governor. And he had headed to the Court of the Appeal, praying it to annul the charges.
The appellate court declined his prayers and he was put on trial. The court ordered accelerated hearing of the fraud case against him, and the trial continued in earnest before Justice Banjoko on January 25, 2016.
The court found him guilty of 15 of the counts bordering on criminal breach of trust, misappropriation of public funds but discharged him on eight.
While sentencing Dariye, Justice Banjoko also ordered that the N80 million recovered from him by the EFCC be forfeited to the state government’s coffers.
However, last April, the Council of State, led by President Mohammadu Buhari, approved the pardon of 159 convicts, including Dariye and Rev. Jolly Nyame, a former Governor of Taraba State.
Both men had, however, remained in Kuje Correctional Centre despite their pardon.