The trial of Senator Joshua Dariye, former governor of Plateau State, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) again started on Monday January 25, at the Federal High Court, Abuja. The matter was adjourned nine years ago.
Mr Musa Sunday, EFCC’s prosecution witness, said that the former governor collected N1.2 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and did not deposit same into any account of the state government.
Dariye was arraigned in 2007 for various offences bordering on money laundering, abuse of office and corruption. He pleaded not guilty to all the 23-count charges preferred against him but filed interlocutory appeals to scuttle his trial.
Dariye was then the governor of Plateau State when the offence was allegedly committed.
Before the case started yesterday, the trial Judge, Justice Adebukola Banjoko warned all parties that her court would not tolerate any application for frivolous adjournment.
In his evidence in chief, Musa Sunday, who was led by Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), informed the court that there was a request from the UK Metropolitan Police which was referred to the Attorney General of the Federation with a petition to the EFCC, adding that the names of some banks were mentioned on the petition.
The letter of request from UK Metropolitan Police and that from Attorney General of the Federation’s office were sent to EFCC under its former chairman, Nuhu Ribadu.
According to him, as the team received the letter, they moved to the mentioned banks. “First we went to All States Trust Bank where we met the manager who made the account available to us and we also collected the mandate card for the account which was opened in the name of Haruna Dariye as signatory to the account.
“The signature on the mandate was signed by the accused Senator Dariye. An officer in charge of the account was arrested by EFCC to assist the commission identify “Haruna Dariye.”
According to him, “The circumstance in which the said account was opened in All States Trust Bank was suspicious because there was no picture in the mandate card. We confirmed that waivers were given to Dariye not to use his passport photograph.”
Hearing on the matter continued today, January 26.
By Dike Onwuamaeze