The National Council of State has granted state pardon to former Governors Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame of Plateau and Taraba States resp…

 

The National Council of State has granted state pardon to
former Governors Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame of Plateau and Taraba States
respectively, who are serving terms in jail for corruption.

 

The governors were among 159 prisoners pardoned by the
Council at a meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the
presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday.

 

Among the beneficiaries are a former military general and
minister under the Sani Abacha regime, Tajudeen Olanrewaju, an army lieutenant
colonel, Akiyode, who was an aide of former deputy to General Abacha, Oladipo
Diya; and all the junior officers jailed over the 1990 abortive Gideon Orkar
coup.

 

The full list of those pardoned is not immediately
available.

 

According to a presidency source, the two former governors
were pardoned on health and age grounds.

 

Mr Nyame, 66, governor of Taraba State from 1999 to 2007,
was serving a 12-year jail term at the Kuje prison for misappropriation of
funds while he was in office. The Supreme Court upheld his conviction in
February 2020.

 

Mr Dariye, 64, who governed Plateau between 1999 and 2007,
was jailed for stealing N2 billion of public funds during his time as Plateau
State governor between 1999 and 2007.

 

The former governor, elected as senator representing Plateau
Central in the Senate in 2015, was sentenced in June 2018 but still completed
his tenure from jail in June 2019.

 

In 2021, he led a partly successful appeal at the Supreme
Court with a five-man panel of the court headed by Mary Odili, quashing his
conviction in respect of criminal misappropriation in a unanimous decision.

 

The offences he was discharged of only attracted two years’
imprisonment and, so had no impact on his overall number of years of
imprisonment. The apex upheld the ex-governor’s conviction in respect of
criminal breach of trust, which attracted a 10-year jail term.

 

Adebukola Banjoko of the High Court of the Federal Capital
Territory, Abuja, had on June 12, 2018, convicted Mr Dariye and originally
sentenced him to 14 years imprisonment on charges of criminal breach of trust
and two years jail term for criminal misappropriation.

 

But following his appeal against the judgment, the Court of
Appeal in Abuja on November 16, 2018, commuted the 14 years jail term to 10.

 

While the Court of Appeal affirmed his conviction, it held
that Section 416 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015,
prohibited the imposition of a maximum sentence on a first offender, such as
the convict.

 

The former governor had appealed to the Supreme Court.

 

Ejembi Emo, a member of the apex court’s panel noted that Mr
Dariye’s appeal “succeeded in part” after quashing his conviction in respect of
charges of criminal misappropriation.

 

The meeting of the Council of State was attended by former
presidents and military heads of state, except former President Olusegun
Obasanjo who is in the United States on medical vacation.

 

The Nigerian Council of State is an organ of the Nigerian
Government as stipulated by Third Schedule Part 1B of the 1999 Constitution (as
amended).

 

The membership of the Council includes the President, who is
Chairman; the Vice-President, who is Deputy Chairman; all former Presidents of
the Federation and all former Heads of the Government of the Federation; all
former Chief Justices of Nigeria; the President of the Senate; the Speaker of
the House of Representatives; all the Governors of the states of the Federation;
and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

 

The Council has power to:

 

(a) advise the President in the exercise of his powers with
respect to the:-

 

(i) national population census and compilation, publication
and keeping of records and other information concerning the same;

 

(ii) prerogative of mercy;

 

(iii) award of national honours;

 

(iv) the Independent National Electoral Commission
(including the appointment of members of that Commission);

 

(v) the National Judicial Council (including the appointment
of the members, other than ex-officio members of that Council); and

 

(vi) the National Population Commission (including the
appointment of members of that Commission); and

 

(b) advise the President whenever requested to do so on the
maintenance of public order within the Federation or any part thereof and on
such other matters as the President may direct.

Source: Buhari pardons ex-Governors Dariye, Nyame serving jail terms for corruption; 157 others

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