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Former Plateau governor, Dariye speaks from Prison, wants his conviction upturned

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The former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye who was imprisoned in 2018 over money laundering to the tune of N1.126 billion has spoken from prison, seeking nullification of his conviction.

Dariye, who represented Plateau Central Senatorial district at the time he was jailed said in the alternative, his jail term should be reduced by the Supreme Court.

In a case instituted against Joshua Dariye in 2007 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after leaving office as governor, the case lasted for eleven years having being sentenced in 2018.

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Justice Adebukola Banjoko of FCT High Court, Gudu, Abuja had sentenced Dariye to 14 years for 15 out of 23 count charges against him by the EFCC, which he appealed and the Court of Appeal reduced it to ten years.

In what looked like a window of opportunity, as the Supreme Court voids the conviction of the erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Olisa Metuh’s sentence on Wednesday, 2020, Dariye seems to have been emboldened by the development, hence, he is asking the Supreme Court to look into his case.

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At Thursday’s hearing, Counsel to the embattled Joshua Dariye, Kanu Agabi, SAN, told the Court that his client’s conviction was speculative, hence, the court should show mercy.

“Allow this appeal and set aside the conviction of the appellant,” Agabi said.

“Here is a man sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. 10 years is more than a lifetime for some people. You should show mercy.

“Reduce the sentence substantially, I beg you.”

However, Rotimi Jacobs, counsel to the EFCC, urged the court to disallow the appeal.

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“We urge your lordships to dismiss this appeal and uphold the concurrent findings of the two lower courts,” he said.

He argued that a public servant was not better than the common man in the eyes of the law.

“As for the sentence passed, it has been reduced to 10 years. That he is a public servant does not mean he should go free,” Jacobs stated.

A five-man panel of the apex court led by Mary Odili has fixed March 21, 2021, for judgment.

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