Finally, Dariye’s Trial Begins Over Alleged Diversion of N1.2bn

After almost 10 years since the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) brought a case offinancial Crimes against him, the trial of Senator Joshua Dariye, former Governor of Plateau State, before Justice Banjoko sitting at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Gudu, in Abuja finally resumed on Monday.
Dariye’s trial started since 2007 following a petition received by the then Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) in May, 2004.
The accused Senator was in court as early as 8.30am and waited until the first case was called in which the Judge spent almost two hours reading a judgment.
The star witness in the case detective Musa Sunday painted a vivid picture of how Dariye instructed the All States Trust Bank to lodge the N1.2 billion ecological fund for Plateau State into accounts that does not belong to the Plateau State government.
Dariye pleaded not guilty to all the 23 counts of the charge preferred against him.
The EFCC had, on July 13, 2007, arraigned the former Governor on 23 counts of money laundering and other corruption charges allegedly involving “billions of Naira” belonging to the Plateau State Government.
The EFCC accused the former Governor of, among others, diversion of about N1.2bn of the state’s ecological funds into the account of Ebenezer Ratnen Venture, which is one the companies through which he allegedly siphoned the public funds.
However, before commencement of his trial on November 13, 2007 after he had pleaded not guilty on July 13 same year, Mr. Dariye challenged the jurisdiction and competence of the court.
His application was dismissed on December 13, 2007 as lacking in merit but the former Governor appealed the ruling.
Again he lost at the Court of Appeal. He proceeded to the Supreme Court, which dismissed his appeal as lacking merit and directed him to face trial.
While condemning the antics of the accused in trying to frustrate his trial, Justice Sylvester, who read the judgement, described the action of Dariye as ‎a “sad commentary” on the nation’s fight against corruption.
In an unanimous judgment ‎by the five-man panel, the court ordered the accused to return to the Federal Capital Territory High Court to face his trial.
The Supreme Court described as unmeritorious Dariye’s appeal against the earlier decision of the Court of Appeal, Abuja on his preliminary objection challenging the competence of the charges ‎instituted against him and the jurisdiction of the FCT High Court to entertain the suit.

Author: News Editor

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  • sir Oscie

    Nine years to start trial?

    Nigeria justice system is honestly a laughing stock.

    Honestly, we need strong institutions for things to be done properly.

    9 years is a very long time and I believe many evidence would by now be nowhere and some witnesses either gone or died.

    Anyway let’s hope for the best and an end to corruption in Nigeria.

    God help Nigeria.

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