Dariye’s Trial: Court admits documents on payment of N250 million to private company

Former Governor of Plateau state, Joshua Dariye.

Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, Gudu, Abuja, on November 29 admitted in evidence, documents confirming the payment of N250 million for contract awarded to Pinnacle Communications Limited by the Joshua Dariye-led Plateau State government.

Mr. Dariye is accused of diverting about N1.2 billion from the state’s Ecological Fund to private companies and individuals. He is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a 23-count charge bordering on money laundering and diversion of funds

A prosecution witness, Musa Sunday, had on January 25told the court, that investigations revealed that Mr. Dariye instructed then All State Trust Bank to disburse the money meant for the state’s Ecological Fund into private companies that included Ebenezer Retnan Ventures (a company linked to Mr. Dariye), and Pinnacle Communications Limited, instead of paying all the money into the Plateau State Government account.

At the resumed hearing of the case of the defence today, counsel to Mr. Dariye, Garba Pwul, presented his twelfth witness, Israel Eabel, a former Director of Engineering at the Plateau Radio and Television Station.

While being led in evidence by Mr. Pwul, Mr. Eabel identified the documents, which the counsel described as, “central to transactions relating to count 23, in which the sum of N250 million was paid to Pinnacle Communications Limited”.

The documents include letter from Pinnacle Communications Ltd addressed to then governor, Mr. Dariye, dated May 25, 2001; internal memorandum from the Engineering Department of Plateau Radio and Television, PRTV; award of contract from the Ministry of Finance, Plateau State dated June 5, 2001; a letter from the Plateau State Secretary General, concerning estacode allowance addressed to the GM of PRTV; a letter concerning the estacode raised, dated August 2001; and a certificate of compliance issued by Harris to Pinnacle Communications dated February 4, 2002.

There was no cross-examination by prosecuting counsel, Adebisi Adeniyi.

Justice Banjoko has adjourned to November 30, 2016 for continuation of defence.


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