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Court loses patience over ex-Plateau governor’s antics

25 March 2015, 10:16Okoro Chinedu

Lagos - The Federal Capital Territory High Court might be forced to try former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, in absentia following his incessant failure to attend proceedings.

Dariye is standing trial on charges of money laundering to the tune of N1,2 billion the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has leveled against him.

In the latest turn of events that have stalled the trial, on Tuesday, Dariye was unavailable before the court sitting in Gudu, Abuja after his elderly father was reportedly kidnapped. Amid the stress, the accused is said to have fallen on a rock and broke his leg and was yet to recover.

This is the latest in a series of explanations the accused’s team has raised since his arraignment on a 23-count charge in July 2007.

Following his not guilty plea, the Federal High Court in Abuja had set aside November 2007 for the prosecution to open its case.

Also Read: Court reserves ruling on Yobe PDP suit

Then, on the date fixed for trial to commence, the ex-Plateau governor brought a motion before the court praying for an order to quash the 23-count charge preferred against him on diverse grounds, including lack of locus standi to prosecute him and jurisdiction to hear and determine the case.

Dariye’s application was dismissed in December 2007. He proceeded on appeal, which also suffered the same fate in June 2010.

Subsequently, Dariye approached the Supreme Court the following month.

The appeal was rejected last month.

Following the latest setback, Justice Adebukola Banjoko said she would not hesitate to open a day-to-day trial on the accused to ensure speedy determination of the case.

She adjourned the case to July 1.

Dariye had two terms as governor between 2004 and 2007.

- CAJ News


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