Finally, Ex-Govs Dariye, Nyame Now Free Men

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  • Released from Kuje Prison

BY EDMOND ODOK – Former Governors of Plateau and Taraba states, Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame have been released from the Medium Correctional Centre in Kuje where they were serving various jail terms for sundry offences during their tenures as governors.

The release of both men was confirmed by the Spokesperson of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command of the Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS), Humphrey Chukwuedo when contacted. The duo leave the Kuje Prison four months after they were granted a presidential pardon by the National Council of States.

Explaining the delay in releasing former governors since the presidential announcement was made in April 2022, Chukwuedo said the Service could not act based on verbal pronouncements without proper documentation.

He said; “There was a process of documentation when they came. We received certain written instructions to that effect. So, we could not just release them without also receiving written instructions to that effect. It is a procedure.”

On April 14, 2022, the Council of State meeting, with President Muhammadu Buhari presiding, approved the pardon of 159 convicts, including Dariye and Nyame who were separately convicted for stealing N1.16bn and N1.6bn respectively.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami told journalists that both ex-governors were among 159 applications approved out of 162 applications presented for consideration for the prerogative of mercy for convicts and inmates in prisons.

Reports also indicated that three other pardoned individuals, whose identities could not be immediately ascertained, were similarly released from Suleja Prison in Niger State.

Both Dariye and Nyame were convicted by Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in 2018.

Dariye, who served as Plateau State Governor between 1999 and 2007, was jailed for laundering public funds to the tune of N1.162 billion and was sentenced to 14 years in prison by Justice Banjoko who has since been elevated to the Court of Appeal.

However, his prison term was later reduced to 10 years by the Court of Appeal in Abuja while his conviction was affirmed by the Supreme Court.

Nyame, who presided over the affairs of Taraba State as governor from 1999 to 2007, was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for stealing N1.6 billion. The case went up to the apex Court which eventually affirmed his conviction.

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