The former governor of Plateau state, Joshua Dariye on Tuesday pleaded with the presiding judge of the federal capital territory, Abuja, Adebukola Banjoko to show him mercy as he was faced with the prospect of life behind prison bars.
“Have mercy, you are a Christian, your name is Jacob,” Dariye pleaded.
His pleadings, however, failed to sway the judge as he was sentenced to sixteen years in prison for money laundering while he served as the governor of plateau state without the option of fine.
Before Adebukola Banjoko, the judge, gave her ruling, Paul Eroko, counsel to Dariye, pleaded for a light sentence.
“Appeals to your judgement do not succeed, we will fall on your mercy. The prisons are congested.”
“They misled the governor, it is the bank, they said he didn’t have to present anything.”
But Rotimi Jacobs, counsel to EFCC, opposed the pleading, insisting that the serving Senator did not deserve a light sentence because he “didn’t show remorse”.
“He is not remorseful, his case should serve as a deterrence,” Jacobs said.
In her ruling, the judge said: “I can’t imagine a brazen act of looting as in this case,” Banjoko said.
“I welled up while reading (the judgement) thinking of the victims, it is a litany of woes. They were adults making rational choices. More importantly, I think what touches me the most, your family, they are victims.
“Having found the defendant guilty of these counts of criminal breach trust and criminal appropriation, the court sentences you to two years for criminal breach of trust and 14 years for criminal appropriation.”
Dariye was charged in 2007, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), with money laundering.
He was accused of diverting N1.126bn from Plateau government’s ecological funds through Ebenezer Reitner Ventures, an unregistered company.