The All Progressive Congress (APC) has said it is praying that Joshua Dariye, who picked the nomination form to contest for a seat in the National Assembly in the 2019 elections, gets state pardon.
Dariye, who is currently serving a 14-year jail term over financial misdeeds, while he was Plateau State governor, obtained the forms by proxy a few days ago.
Noting his “importance” to the party, APC also said it had no right to deny him the form, even while in prison.
Chindo Dafat, APC Publicity Secretary in Plateau, told NAN that “Somebody could be in the hospital or prison and pick a nomination form from there. We have no right to deny anyone a nomination form. Even INEC cannot stop Dariye from contesting the 2019 elections.
“There is no law that stops him from buying the form. Whoever comes for the nomination form can get it. I see it as a constitutional matter. Only the court can disqualify him.”
Dafat also affirmed that Dariye had filled the form and submitted, noting that he is to battle with three others — Zakari Dimka, Sam Piwuna and Manji Pompori — for the APC ticket.
He said: “Yes, Sen. Dariye has picked a nomination form to seek a third term. It is true. He is among those jostling for the APC ticket in Plateau Central.
“His (Dariye’s) ward secretary came and signed the form on his behalf. It has been filled and his supporters are already campaigning ahead of the party's primary election.
“Aside possible success in the appeal, we are also praying for a state pardon. That is another possibility.
“Dariye is very important to our party, unfortunately, this happened to him. It is not that we cannot win elections without him; we can win without him, but he has done a lot and is well loved by his people.
“If Dariye wins elections from prison, he will not be the first Nigerian to do that. Iyiola Omisore from Osun, once won a senate seat while in prison.”