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    HomecrimeCorruption charge; At last Govs Nyame, Dariye, others released from Kuje prison

    Corruption charge; At last Govs Nyame, Dariye, others released from Kuje prison

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    By Abdullahi Jamiu, Abuja

    After several months of incarceration in the Nigerian correctional centre, Abuja otherwise known as Kuje Prison, former governor of Plateau state Joshua Dariye and that of Taraba State Jolly Nyame have left the nigerian correctional centre Abuja as free men.

    Three other unnamed personalities were equally granted freedom by the federal government

    Although they were granted state pardon by the National Council of State at its last meeting in April 2022, they have remained in the facility which was attacked by terrorists in june.

    The release of the two former governors and others was made public via a statement issued on monday by the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command

    The Public Relations Officer, FCT command, Chukwuedo Humphrey while confirming the development said that the letter of their release was sent to the command by the Presidential Prerogative of Mercy Committee on same monday

    He said that the two former governors were pardoned on ill health and age grounds and were released immediately, but did not disclose the names of the three others
    “We have no right to hold them further as soon as we have the letter of clemency from the presidency.
    “If we do, it will be against their fundamental human rights.
    “They have left the facility today. We got the warrant of release today and have done the needful.
    “Dariye and Nyame were in Kuje custodial centre while the three others were in Suleja custodial centre,” he said.

    It would be recalled that the Council of State led by the President Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.), had on April 22, 2022 approved the pardon of 159 convicts including a former Dariye and who were both imprisoned for stealing N1.16bn and N1.6bn respectively.

    Reacting to the development, the plateau state Commissioner for Information, Dan Manjang, said the state was happy with the release of the ex-governor.

    He added “Every Plateau man is happy about it and we give kudos to the President for honouring us in this manner .We want to also thank whoever that has a hand in making it happen because everybody makes mistakes and you can make errors while in governance.
    “As of today, he (Dariye ) has been given a reprieve as if nothing has happened and that is the spirit we have to imbibe as a people that when we make mistakes, we have to forgive because nobody is above error”.
    The Director of Press and Public Affairs, Government House, Dr Macham Makut, also confirmed that Governor Simon Lalong was at the council of State meeting where Dariye was granted state pardon.

    The two ex governors were convicted by Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in 2018. Dariye, who was governor from 1999 to 2007, was jailed for laundering public funds to the tune of N1.162bn and was sentenced to 14 years in prison by Justice Banjoko who has since been elevated to the Court of Appeal.
    Dariye’s prison term was later reduced to 10 years by the Court of Appeal in Abuja while his conviction was affirmed by the Supreme Court.
    For Rev Nyame, who was governor of Taraba State from 1999 to 2007, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison for stealing N1.6bn from the state’s treasury, a judgment which was also upheld by the Supreme Court.
    The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami had said that the council approved 159 out of 162 applications presented for consideration for the prerogative of mercy for convicts and inmates in correctional facilities nationwide.
    According to Malami, the council rejected a proposal to grant pardon to one of the prisoners sentenced to 120 years for theft of over N25bn. The pardon, he said, was sought on health grounds.

    Though the AGF kept mum over the identity of the prisoner in question, a top presidency source identified a former Managing Director of Platinum Habib Bank, Francis Atuche, as one of the people not fortunate to be pardoned.
    The Council of State is an organ of the Federal Government responsible for advising the executive on policy matters.
    Members include the President, past Presidents, the Vice-President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and both serving and past Chief Justices of Nigeria.
    Others include the Attorney General of the Federation, all governors and the Minister of Federal Capital territory

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