How ex-governor Dariye stole Plateau’s N1.2b: EFCC investigator

How ex-governor Dariye stole Plateau’s N1.2b: EFCC investigator

Monday, January 25, 2016 7:14 pm

Joshua Dariye: barefaced stealing of state fund

Joshua Dariye: barefaced stealing of state fund

A Federal High Court in Abuja will continue hearing testimonies by witnesses about how a former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye,  stole about  N1.2 billion from the state coffers.

The money was meant to tackle ecological problems in the state.

After years of stone walling, including an attempt to quash the 23 count  charge filed against him  by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, hearing  continued today with the anti-graft agency presenting its witness before Justice Adebukola Banjoko, of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Court, High Court, Gudu, Abuja.

Led in evidence by prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, the EFCC witness, Musa Sunday, a detective with the EFCC, provided details into the findings of the investigative team that probed the allegations against Dariye.

Dariye: adjusts his glasses

Dariye: adjusts his glasses

Sunday told the court that the EFCC had in September 2004 received a petition from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, to wit the UK Metropolitan Police requested assistance of the Nigerian Government in investigating some companies linked to Dariye.
“The petition of the UK Metropolitan Police was sent by the AGF to the EFCC, and it was subsequently referred to my team,” he said.
He told the court that the team immediately swung into action to investigate the banks – All State Trust Bank, Lion Bank (now Diamond Bank), companies and individuals allegedly involved in the fraud.
“At the All State Trust Bank we discovered an account whose signatory was Haruna Dariye, but upon further investigation, we found out that the signatory was actually the defendant (Joshua Dariye),” he said.
According to him, it was discovered that the mandate of the account at the bank, had no passport photo on it, but upon interrogation of the bank manager, it was discovered that Dariye owned the account and had on opening it, requested for a waiver, which enabled him to open it without following the due process of affixing his passport photo on the mandate form.
“We obtained the instruments used to open the account with the bank and upon forensic examination, it was confirmed that the signatory to the account was Dariye,” he said.
Report of the forensic unit, confirming the signature to be that of Dariye was accepted as exhibit by the court.
Sunday further told the court, that investigations revealed that Dariye instructed the bank to disburse the money meant for the state’s Ecological Fund, into private companies that included Ebenezer Ratnen Ventures and Pinnacle Communications Limited, instead of paying the money into the Plateau State Government account.
“We studied the accounts linked to Ebenezer Ratnen Ventures with the bank, and discovered financial inflows including money from the Ecological Fund,” he said.
The handwritten instruction asking the bank to disburse N1.162 billion to the companies was tendered as exhibit in the court.
Although G. S. Pwul, SAN, counsel to Dariye contended the admissibility of the handwritten instruction, Justice Banjoko overruled and accepted it as exhibit.
Justice Banjoko thereafter adjourned till tomorrow continuation of the trial, expressing her determination to ensure a speedy determination of the case.
It would be recalled that since his first arraignment on July 13, 2007 at the Federal High Court, Abuja, Dariye employed all means known to law to frustrate his trial.
Following his “plea of not guilty” to the charges preferred against him, the court  had set aside November 13, 2007 for the prosecution to open its case.
On the date fixed for trial to commence, Dariye filed a motion before the court praying for an order to quash the 23-count charge preferred against him on diverse grounds, including lack of locus standi to prosecute him and jurisdiction to hear and determine the case.
Dariye’s application was dismissed by the court on December 10, 2007. He proceeded on appeal, which also suffered the same fate on June 17, 2010.
Not satisfied, the former governor proceeded to the Supreme Court on July 13, 2010.
The apex court in its judgment delivered on February 27, 2015 found the appeal to be lacking in merit and consequently dismissed it and ordered the court to commence expeditious trial of the former governor. 

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One Comment

  • sir Oscie says:

    Nine years to start trial?

    Nigeria justice system is honestly a laughing stock.

    Honestly, we need strong institutions for things to be done properly.

    9 years is a very long time and I believe many evidence would by now be nowhere and some witnesses either gone or died.

    Anyway let’s hope for the best and an end to corruption in Nigeria.

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