The Supreme Court on Friday, March 12, 2021, upheld the 10 years prison term imposed on former Plateau Governor, Joshua Dariye who was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for fraud.
It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, on November 16, 2018 affirmed the ruling of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, which convicted and sentenced Dariye for diverting public funds estimated at N1.162billion while he was the Governor.
A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal, led by Justice Stephen Adah, in its decision, upheld the judgement by Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), delivered on June 12, 2018.
However, dissatisfied by the Appellate Court’s ruling Dariye appealed to the Supreme Court.
In a unanimous judgment, five-man panel of the Supreme Court, led by Justice Mary Odili, upheld Dariye’s concurrent conviction and sentence by the trial court and the Court of Appeal on the offence of criminal breach of trust.
The Apex Court however quashed his conviction and sentence in relation to the offence of criminal misappropriation by the Court of Appeal.
The lead judgment was prepared by Justice Ejembi Eko and read by Justice Helen Ogunwumiju. Other members of the five-man panel include Lawal Garba, Samuel Oseji and Tijani Abubakar.
Justice Banjoko had originally sentenced Dariye to 14 years in prison but upon appeal, the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division on November 16, 2018, commuted the 14 years jail term to 10years.