The former governor of Plateau State, Mr. Joshua Dariye has had his 14-year-jail term reduced to 10 by the Appeal Court sitting in Abuja.
Giving his ruling on Friday in Dariye’s appeal against the judgement of Justice Adebukola Banjoko of a Federal Capital Territory High Court, Gudu, Justice Stephen Adah held that the maximum sentence of 14 years for the counts was excessive especially because the appellant was a first-time offender
Justice Adah held that the law stipulates that a first time offender cannot be handed down the maximum punishment on the offence of criminal breach of trust and misappropriation in which the appellant was convicted.
He however held that though sentencing is at the discretion of the judge, the court must take into consideration laws guiding sentencing.
The judge also quashed count 23 because the persecution did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the former governor diverted the funds of the state to purchase a house in London.
The court therefore reduced the sentence of 14 years to 10 years for criminal breach of trust while the two-year jail term for criminal misappropriation of N1. 62 billion ecological fund was reduced to one year.
The sentences are to run concurrently.
It would be recalled that Justice Banjoko had on June 12, 2018, sentenced Dariye to 14 years’ imprisonment on charges of criminal breach of trust and criminal appropriation of over N2 billion belonging to the state.
Similarly, the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on Friday reduced the jail term of former Taraba State governor, Rev. Jolly Nyame, from the initial 14 years to 12 years and fined him N495 million.
Banjoko had sentenced him to 14 years without an option of fine on May 30, 2018.
The former governor was jailed two years for receiving gratification, five years for obtaining public funds without due consideration, seven years for criminal breach of trust, and 14 years for gratification. The jail terms were to run concurrently.
But the Justice Abdul Aboki-led three-man appeal panel reviewed the case and in addition to the 12-year sentence, imposed a fine which the lower court had omitted while dispensing the earlier sentence.