A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Gudu, Abuja yesterday sentenced former Plateau State Governor Joshua Chibi Dariye to a 16 years in prison.
Dariye’s sentence followed his conviction on 15 counts on the offences of criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation. The court freed him on eight out of the 23 counts for which he was tried.
Justice Adebukola Banjoko sentenced Senator Dariye APC (Plateau Central), to two years for misappropriation and 14 years for criminal breach of trust.
The sentences are to run concurrently, implying that Dariye will spend 14 years in custody.
Dariye was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on July 13, 2007 on a 23-count charge in which he was accused of diverting Plateau State’s funds estimated at over N2billion, using his private company Ebenezer Retnan Ventures.
Part of the state’s funds diverted by the defendant was the N1.162 billion he received from the Ecological Funds, using the name of Plateau state.
Dariye pleaded not guilty to the charge, but before trial could commence, Dariye filed an application challenging the competence of the charges and the jurisdiction of the court. He argued that he ought to be tried before a Plateau State High Court and not the FCT High Court.
On December 13, 2007, the trial judge heard and dismissed Dariye’s application for lacking in merit. Dariye appealed against the ruling of the court. But the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of Justice Banjoko. Dariye subsequently took the matter to the Supreme Court.
On February 27, 2015, the Supreme Court dismissed Dariye’s appeal and ordered him to submit himself for trial.