How Former Gov. Dariye Stole N1.2Billion Belonging To Plateau State


The trial of a former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, who is

being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on

a 23-count charge bordering on money laundering and diversion of funds,

continued with the anti-graft agency presenting its witness before Justice

Adebukola Banjoko, of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Court, High

Court, Gudu, Abuja.
Dariye is accused of diverting about N1.2 billion from the state's

Ecological Fund, to private companies and individuals.

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

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

“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

Justice Banjoko thereafter adjourned till January 26, 2015 for

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

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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