N2billion loot: Supreme Court affirms 10-year jail for ex-governor, Dariye

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The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed the 10-year jail term passed on a former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, who was convicted of criminal misappropriation and criminal breach of trust.

Mr Dariye was said to have looted N2billion public funds during his time as Plateau State governor, between 1999 and 2007.

The former governor, elected as the senator representing Plateau Central in the Nigerian Senate in 2015, was sentenced in June 2018 but still completed his tenure as a senator from jail in June 2019.

He led a partly successful appeal at the Supreme Court with a five-man panel of the court headed by Mary Odili, quashing his conviction in respect of criminal misappropriation in a unanimous decision handed down Friday.

The offences he was discharged of only attracted two years’ imprisonment and, so had no impact on his overall number of years of imprisonment.

The apex upheld the ex-govermor’s conviction in respect of a criminal breach of trust, which attracted the 10-year jail term.

Adebukola Banjoko of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja had on June 12, 2018 convicted Mr Dariye and originally sentenced him to 14 years’ imprisonment on charges of criminal breach of trust and two years’ jail term for criminal misappropriation.

But following his appeal against the judgment, the Court of Appeal in Abuja on November 16, 2018, commuted the 14 years’ jail term to 10.

While the Court of Appeal affirmed his conviction, it held that section 416 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, prohibited the imposition of maximum sentence on a first offender, such as the convict.