The 10-year jail term given to former Plateau Governor, Joshua Dariye upon his conviction on the offence of embezzlement has been upheld by the Supreme Court.
A five-man panel of the apex court, led by Justice Mary Odili, gave the unanimous ruling on Friday during the hearing of an appeal filed by the former governor.
The apex court granted Dariye’s appeal in part, by quashing the one-year sentence imposed on him by the Court of Appeal in relation to the offence of criminal misappropriation.
The lead judgment which was read by Justice Helen Ogunwumiju, however, upheld Dariye’s concurrent conviction and sentence by the trial court and the Court of Appeal on the offence of criminal breach of trust.
Dariye filed an appeal before the Supreme Court to upturn the November 16, 2018 judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which convicted him and sentenced him to 10 years for diverting public funds estimated at N1.162billion while he was the Governor.
A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal, led by Justice Stephen Adah, in its decision, upheld an earlier judgement by Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), delivered on June 12, 2018.
The trial court convicted Dariye on 15 counts relating to the offences of criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation, contained in the 23-count charge on which he was tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In upholding Dariye’s conviction, the Court of Appeal noted the prosecution, led by Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) effectively proved its allegation of criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation against the ex-governor.
The Appeal Court however faulted the trial court for convicting Dariye on counts 12 and 23, which it said the prosecution did not prove.
It also faulted the trial court for imposing the maximum sentences on both offences of criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation.
The Appeal Court proceeded to reduce the 14 years sentence for the offence of criminal breach of trust to 10 years and reduced the two years sentence for criminal misappropriation to one year.