N1.1bn Fraud: N100m went to Obasanjo’s re-election, N100m to PDP – Ex-Gov opens can of worm

N1.1bn Fraud: N100m went to Obasanjo’s re-election, N100m to PDP – Ex-Gov opens can of worm

Former governor of Plateau state, Joshua Dariye, has said that about N100 million out of the N1.126 billion he misappropriated went into the campaign for the re-election of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in 2007, had charged Dariye, who was governor from 1999 to 2007, over allegations of diverting N1.126 billion from the Plateau government’s ecological fund.

In 2018, a federal capital territory (FCT) high court, sentenced Dariye to 14 years imprisonment.

But a court of appeal in Abuja reduced the sentence to 10 years.

The supreme court also affirmed the conviction and the jail term of the appeal court in March 2021.

But while speaking in an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight on Monday, Dariye gave a breakdown of how the money was spent.

According to him, a larger part of the money went into the state government account, and only N80 million went to the ecological fund.

“N800 million went to the Plateau state account, 100 million went to PDP south-west and another 100 million went to the Obasanjo campaign organisation, N80 million went to the ecological fund and then N66 million went to PDP Plateau state,” he said.

“What was missing was about N4 million which is the commission of turnover.”

The former governor had also said his imprisonment was politically motivated.

Speaking on the conditions of the correctional centres, Dariye said the facilities are not habitable and worsened the mindset of the convicted instead of reforming them.

“The correctional centre is one republic that is a government on its own. They don’t have the best of facilities, I must say. It’s not habitable for human beings, and I think the federal government must have a look at it,” he said.

“When they talk about prison reforms, there is the need to look at the conditions, the sanitary places, the environment and the congestion. If you take people to a correctional centre, you are supposed to come out reformed, not hardened. Most of the young men there come out worse than when they went in and I don’t think that’s the essence of taking people to prison.

“Some people wanted Nyame and myself to stay longer but it didn’t matter. We were able to persevere. We paid bills for young people. Some people were there for just N10,000 or N100,000 and they were kept for years. It was an interesting experience, meeting people from different backgrounds, especially youngsters.”

In April, President Muhammadu Buhari had pardoned Dariye and Jolly Nyame, former Taraba governor, on the grounds of age and ill health.

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