Former Plateau state governor, Joshua Dariye has reportedly been convicted for corruption by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) sitting in Abuja.

The former governor was said to have been found guilty on 15 of the 23 counts of the corruption charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The charges bordered on criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation punishable under sections 315 and 309 of the Penal Code Act, respectively.

Justice Adebukola Banjoko, who presided over the trial, struck eight of the 23 charges against Mr Dariye out on the grounds of either duplicity or lack of sufficient evidence.

According to the Punch, Dariye’s lawyer, Mr Paul Erokor SAN, made a plea for leniency on behalf of his client following the pronouncement of the guilty verdict by presiding judge, Justice Adebukola Banjoko. The plea counsel was however opposed by EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs SAN who asked the court to impose the maximum sentence.

Justice Banjoko subsequently sentenced former Governor Joshua Dariye to 14 years in prison for criminal breach of trust, and another 2 years for misappropriation of public funds. The terms are to run concurrently.

The EFCC via its Twitter handle claimed Justice Banjoko noted that Dariye was in fact richer than his state, and “there should be no compromise to corruption by whatever shade or colour, rich or poor.”

It will be recalled that the EFCC recently achieved success in some high-profile corruption trials when Justice R.I.B. Adebiyi of the Lagos State High Court convicted and sentenced Mr Joseph Nwobike SAN to one month imprisonment for perverting the course of justice, and a FCT High Court convicted a former governor of Taraba state, Mr Jolly Nyame of misappropriating public funds.

Like Dariye, former Taraba governor, Mr Nyame bagged a 14-year jail term.

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