President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the pardon of a former Governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, and ex-Governor Jolly Nyame of Taraba State, who were both imprisoned for stealing N1.16bn and N1.6bn respectively.
Buhari Pardons Joshua Dariye And Jolly Nyame
The former governors were among 159 inmates pardoned by a council of state meeting presided over by the president at the presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday, April 14, 2022.
Another beneficiary of the pardon is Tajudeen Olanrewaju, former military general and minister under the Sani Abacha regime.
Akiyode, former lieutenant colonel and ex-aide of Oladipo Diya, was also granted pardon, and all the junior officers jailed for the failed Gideon Orkar coup of 1990 were granted pardon as well.
The council rejected a request for pardon for Francis Atuche, former managing director of Bank PHB, who was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment for fraud.
According to a presidential source, the two former governors were pardoned on health and age grounds. The full list of those pardoned is not immediately available.
Nyame, 66, governor of Taraba State from 1999 to 2007, who was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for diverting public funds, was convicted and jailed for 12 years, after a trial that lasted 11 years.
The EFCC had accused him of diverting N1.64 billion during his tenure as governor of Taraba between 1999 and 2007. His sentence was later reduced to 12 years by the supreme court in February 2020.
Dariye, 64, who governed Plateau between 1999 and 2007, was also sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2018 for N1.126 billion fraud. But a court of appeal reduced his term by four years. The verdict was also affirmed by the supreme court.
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.
This comes one year after a former governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, and Senator Istifanus Gyang had appealed to President Buhari to facilitate the release of Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame from prison.