The trial of a former Governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, for alleged corruption charges will resume at the High Court of Federal Capital Territory on March 24, following dismissal of his appeal by the Supreme Court on Friday.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on July 13, 2007, arraigned Mr. Dariye on a 23-count charge of money laundering and other corruption charges involving billions of Naira belonging to the Plateau State Government, before Justice Adebukola Banjoko of a FCT High Court in Gudu, Abuja.
Amongst others, the EFCC accused the former governor of diversion of about N1.2 billion of the state’s ecological funds into the account of Ebenezer Ratnen Venture, which is one the companies through which he allegedly siphoned the public funds.
However, before commencement of his trial on November 13 after he had pleaded not guilty on July 13, Mr. Dariye challenged the jurisdiction and competence of the court. His application was dismissed on December 13, 2007 as lacking in merit but the former governor appealed the ruling.
Again he lost at the Court of Appeal. He proceeded to the Supreme Court, which dismissed his appeal as lacking merit and directed him to face trial.
While condemning the antics of the accused in trying to frustrate his trial, Justice Sylvester, who read the judgement, described the action of Mr. Dariye as a sad commentary on the nation’s fight against corruption.