As part of the “CHANGE” mantra being propagated by the Buhari Government,under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nigerians need to do away with “sympathy votes” in order to do away with unscrupulous candidates with past corrupt records who end up clinching the votes of its electorates and occupying power for a good four-year tenure or more.
After reading the testimony of a retired detective with the London Metropolitan Police, you certainly will have a rethink.
Retired detective Peter Clerk on Monday at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Gudu, Abuja gave insight on the circumstances that led to the arrest of former Governor of Plateau State, Joshua Chibi Dariye.
Dariye ruled as Governor of Plateau State between 1999 and 2007. Between his tenure, he was impeached as Governor for 4 months, after which he secured a victory at the Supreme Court of Nigeria reinstating him as Governor.
According to Detective Clark, Dariye was extravagant in his spending while in the United Kingdom which had led to his arrest in London.
Notable among the items he purchased at that period was a £7,000 pen.
While answering questions from the prosecution counsel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), Clerk had this to say:
“From the examination of Mr. Dariye’s account, he travelled all over the world. From his passport, we saw stamps of several countries.
“We found seven pairs of shoes which cost £700 per pair. He paid £7,000 for a pen. He purchased a lot of things in high luxurious stores.”
“On September 28, 2004, we were informed that Joshua Dariye was in London in a hotel. I went there with two other officers who also identified themselves as police officers.
“I informed him (Dariye) that we were investigating his accounts and we arrested and informed him under caution that we believed that the money was stolen and proceeds of money laundering. He said nothing.”
Clerk added, “In September 2004, £43,000 in cash was found in Dariye’s room when it was searched. There were various denominations and currencies including Scottish notes, dollars, euros.
“The cash seized was packed into a container, for which he signed. It was photographed. I have copies of the photograph. Dariye and Christopher Bentu were taken to the police.”
The ex-Policeman said his colleague searched a property belonging to Dariye and found £11,995.
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Clerk said, Dariye was later released on bail with the expectation that he would report back in December, 2004 but never did.
“Dariye was informed that if he attempted to move any money, he would be charged for further money laundering.
“In September 2004, I looked at Joshua Dariye in the eyes and said to him, ‘I know you are a religious man’, I asked him if he would come back on December 14, 2004. He said ‘yes’, he would, but he failed to show up.
“My colleague searched his property and found £11,995 on the premises and some flyers. They also found three Barclays cheques. They were all seized immediately we made an application for his arrest in London. The arrest warrant is still valid till today. It was circulated in all computers that Dariye was wanted.”
The former Governor is facing charges of alleged diversion of about N1.162bn Ecological Fund meant for Plateau State in 2004.
Dariye is currently a Senator representing Plateau Central in the National Assembly.