By Ismail Auwal
Former Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye, has begged Supreme Court to reduce his 10-year jail term
Dariye has pleaded with the apex court to nullify his conviction or reduce the 10-year jail sentence.
About 2 years ago, the former governor was sentenced to 10-year imprisonment for diverting public funds.
He was accused of diverting N1.126 billions from the Plateau state government’s ecological fund in a case filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In June 2018, Adebukola Banjoko, a judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Gudu, sentenced Dariye to 14 years imprisonment, having found him guilty on 15 out the 23 counts preferred against him.
A Court of Appeal on November 16, 2018, reduced the jail term by four years after the former governor had appealed his conviction.
Dariye approached the Supreme Court on Thursday, seeking to void his conviction.
At the court hearing on Thursday, Kanu Agabi SAN, Dariye’s counsel, urged the court to show mercy, adding that his client’s conviction was speculative.
“Allow this appeal and set aside the conviction of the appellant,” Agabi said.
“Here is a man sentenced to 10 years imprisonment 10 years is more than a lifetime for some people. You should show mercy.
“Reduce the sentence substantially, I beg you.”
However, Rotimi Jacobs, counsel to the EFCC, urged the court to disallow the appeal.
“We urge your lordships to dismiss this appeal and uphold the concurrent findings of the two lower courts,” he said.
He argued that a public servant was not better than the common man in the eyes of the law.
“As for the sentence passed, it has been reduced to 10 years. That he is a public servant does not mean he should go free,” Jacobs stated.
A five-man panel of the apex court led by Mary Odili has fixed March 21, 2021, for judgment.