Former Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye

A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court has sentenced Joshua Dariye, former Governor of Plateau state, to 14 years in prison.

Justice Adebukola Banjoko, the presiding judge, sentenced Dariye, a serving senator, to two-year and 14-year jail terms to be served concurrently without an option of fine.

The former Governor appeared in court in a white agbada, accompanied by family members, friends and political associates.

In 2007, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged and arraigned him on a 23-count charge bothering on money laundering.

He was accused of diverting N1.126bn from Plateau Government’s ecological funds.

The former governor was said to have operated Ebenezer Reitner Ventures, an unregistered company through which he diverted the said funds.

In her ruling, the judge said: “I can’t imagine a brazen act of looting as in this case,” Banjoko said.

“I welled up while reading (the judgement) thinking of the victims; it is a litany of woes. They were adults making rational choices. More importantly, I think what touches me the most, your family, they are victims.

“Having found the defendant guilty of these counts of criminal breach trust and criminal appropriation, the court sentences you to two years for criminal breach of trust and 14 years for criminal appropriation.”

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