My imprisonment was politically motivated – Dariye

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Former governor of Plateau state, Joshua Dariye, has said that his imprisonment for N1.126bn fraud was politically motivated. Dariye governed Plateau for eight years – from 1999 and 2007.
He was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2007, over allegations of diverting N1.126 billion from the state government’s ecological fund.
After a prolonged trial, at a Federal High Court in Abuja, he was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment in June 2018.
However in November 2018, a Court of Appeal in Abuja, reduced the sentence to 10 years.
The Supreme Court also affirmed the conviction and the jail term of the Appeal  Court in March 2021.
Speaking in an interview with Channels Television, Dariye, said as a chartered accountant, he would not have stolen in that manner.
He said: “My issue was political in the sense that the same charge was taken to Kaduna high court, Justice Liman dismissed that case.
“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, the 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.”
In April 2022, Dariye and Jolly Nyame, also a former governor of Taraba state, were pardoned at a meeting of the National Council of State, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on the grounds of age and ill health.

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