A Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has reduced the jail sentence of former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, now senator representing Plateau Central, by four years.
Newsworth recalls that High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Gudu, Abuja, presided over by Justice Adebukola Banjoko had on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 sentenced the serving senator to 14 years’ imprisonment on charges of criminal breach of trust and criminal appropriation of the state’s funds.
Dariye was accused of diverting N1.126bn from Plateau government’s ecological funds. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had charged him to court in July 2007.
The senator, who reportedly purchased the expression of interest and nomination forms of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to seek reelection as a senator, was convicted on 15 out the 23 counts preferred against him.
After he was sentenced to prison, the lawmaker appealed the judgement of the trial court.
At the appeal court on Friday, a three-man panel led by Stephen Ada ruled that while the conviction was right, the former governor should have been jailed for 10 years as a first-time offender.
The panel held that Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, does allow maximum 14 years term contained in the charge for first-time offenders and that the lower court was wrong not to have considered that.
The court reduced the sentence of 14 years to 10 years for criminal breach of trust while a similar conviction for diversion of N1. 62 billion ecological funds was reduced from two years to one year. The sentences are to run concurrently, like the previous judgement in June, meaning Dariye has now been effectively jailed 10 years.