BFF-75 Nigeria jails another governor for corruption

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NIGERIA-COURT-POLITICS-CORRUPTION

Nigeria jails another governor for corruption

ABUJA, June 12, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – A Nigerian former state governor and
serving senator was on Tuesday found guilty of corruption, the second high-
ranking official to be sentenced to jail the past two weeks.

Former governor of Plateau State Joshua Dariye was found guilty of
misappropriating millions of dollars earmarked for an ecological fund by the
Abuja High Court, marking the end of a case that had been running for over a
decade.

“I can’t imagine such a brazen act of systematic looting and stealing,”
said Justice Adebukola Banjoko in her judgement.

She sentenced Dariye to 14 years behind bars for criminal misappropriation
and two years for criminal breach of trust, with the sentences running
concurrently.

Dariye, who represented the opposition People’s Democratic Party before
crossing the floor to serve as a senator for the ruling All Progressives
Congress, was in 2007 accused of diverting over 1.1 billion naira (more than
$8.5 million at the time) from the state treasury.

The sentence comes as Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking to
burnish his credentials as an anti-corruption crusader ahead of presential
elections next year.

Buhari, a 75-year-old former general, is seeking a second term in Nigeria,
Africa’s largest economy and biggest oil producer that is on a wobbly
recovery after the 2014 crash in commodity prices.

His so-called war against corruption was initially lauded at the beginning
of his term but has since been criticised for being politicised.

Dariye’s sentence is the conclusion of a case running since 2007,
highlighting the glacial pace of justice in Nigeria, where judges are often
accused of taking bribes.

Former Taraba governor Jolly Nyame was convicted of fraud on May 30 and
sentenced to 14 years jail time, in a case that also began over 10 years ago.

BSS/AFP/MRI/2303 hrs