By Rafiu Ajakaye
A Nigerian senator was sentenced Tuesday to 14 years in prison without the option of a fine after his conviction on multiple charges of “criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation” of public funds.
Joshua Dariye was convicted of diverting over $3.3 million in public money between 1999 and 2007 when he was governor of the north-central Plateau state.
The sentences for the two offenses -- criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation -- are the maximum under the Nigerian penal code.
High court judge Adebukola Banjoko said Dariye was guilty of at least 16 of the 23 counts the government had charged him with, including an allegation that he diverted $222,000 of public funds to his Peoples Democratic Party and another $270,000 to a firm with links to the top politician.
The judge sentenced Dariye to two years in prison on each of the five counts of criminal misappropriation and 14 years for each of the 11 counts of criminal breach of trust.
The sentences would run concurrently, according to the judge.
She gave no option of a fine, although the ruling is open to appeals up to the country's supreme court.
The same judge last month jailed another former governor, Jolly Nyame of the northeast Taraba state, for corruption -- without the option of fine -- representing huge milestones for the country's anti-corruption crusade being waged by President Muhammadu Buhari.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.