June 13, 2018
Benin City, Nigeria…Against the backdrop of the conviction of another former governor in the country by the court for corruption, this time, former Governor of Plateau State, Senator Joshua Dariye, the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has hailed the 14-year jail sentence slapped on the former governor for diverting N1.162 billion state ecological funds whilst he was governor from 1999 to 2007.
ANEEJ Executive Director, the Rev. David Ugolor noted that “the Court, through the judgment, delivered the best Democracy Day gift to Nigerians as the rule of law remains a significant hallmark for the flourishing of democracy, a tenet that the Late Chief M.K.O Abiola lived and died for. All Nigerians, irrespective of religion or tribe attest to the fact that Corruption has been a serious impediment to the growth and development of the country since independence in 1960. To nip this problem in the bud requires a strong judiciary that promptly delivers sound judgments and punishes corruption timeously.”
Rev Ugolor further commended the Judiciary for its latest effort at dealing with corruption cases, as Joshua Dariye is the second former governor in one month who has been sentenced to prison without an option of fine.
“Convicting former Governor Joshua Dariye is good news. Dispossessing him of the looted assets is key to ending corruption because when looters are not allowed to enjoy proceeds of corruption, it goes a long way in ending the business of corruption. We therefore commend the Nigerian judiciary, which is now living up to its billing as the last hope of the common man by rising to halt impunity in the looting of the public treasury. The Federal Capital Territory High Court’s sentence of Senator Dariye to two years in prison for criminal breach of trust and 14 years for criminal misappropriation of funds, and forcing down hot tears down his cheeks is significantly deterring.’’
‘ANEEJ equally believes that if the same kind of will put to bear to convict the former governor of Plateau state is put to bear on all of these high-profile corruption cases, Nigeria would not be needing to use the institutional mechanisms of foreign countries to rein in the corrupt in Nigeria. This is the time to use this case as a deterrent to future cases of official misdemeanor’, the Rev Ugolor said.