N7.4B Fraud: 'Prepare to face trial', Court orders Dariye
A Federal Capital Territory FCT, high court sitting in Abuja , on Wednesday October 27th 2010 ordered a former governor of Plateau state, Mr. Joshua Dariye to be prepared to face trial over charges of stealing, and misappropriation of public funds totalling over N7.4 billion preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and stop filing frivolous applications in various courts to stall trial.
The judge submitted that Dariye had already lost it at the appeal court where he filed a suit challenging the jurisdiction of the FCT high court, and so the coast is now clear for her to proceed with the trial.
However, as part of the antics to stall the much-prolonged trial, counsel to the accused, Barrister Chris Umar told the court that Dariye had filed another application at the Supreme Court challenging the ruling of the appeal court.
But the EFCC counsel, Adebin Adewuyi told the court that the anti-graft agency has not been served, and prayed the court to proceed with the trial in line with the ruling of the appeal court which had asked the accused person to return to the lower court to face trial.
He pointed out that the EFCC has already prepared its witnesses who are ready to testify.
After listening to both counsel, Justice Adebunkola Banjoko asked the accused person to put aside all his frivolous applications and face the substantive case. She thereafter adjourned the case to the 25th and 26th of January 2011 for definite hearing.
Dariye is facing a 23 count charge bordering on stealing, misappropriation of public funds and criminal breach of trust, while serving as Governor of Plateau state. He has been delaying trial through frivolous applications.
At the last hearing Justice Banjoko said since Dariye had gone on appeal on the issue of jurisdiction, she could not do anything on the release or otherwise of Dariye's travelling documents. The judge insisted that she would go ahead with the hearing of the criminal charge preferred against the former governor.
She explained that mere filing of an interlocutory appeal by Dariye against her ruling on jurisdiction was not enough to stay proceedings in the case.