JUST IN!! Former Vice-President, Atiku Fingered In Convicted Former Governor’s Theft Case

Though Dariye had in two applications dated May 7 and June 7, 2001, used Plateau State to apply for a total of N3billion from the ecological fund, only about N1bn was approved for him.

The ex-governor was said to have personally collected the cheque from the Central Bank of Nigeria, on July 12, 2001.

EFCC, through its witnesses, told the court that the N1.126bn ecological fund meant for reclamation and rechannelization, was diverted into different private accounts by the defendant.

While reviewing the proof of evidence that was laid before the court, Justice Banjoko observed that the sum of N280m from the fund was said to have been shared to three beneficiaries, among whom included former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who
allegedly received N100m through his firm, Marine Float.

A former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ibrahim Mantu was said to have also received N10m, even as EFCC told the court that whereas the money that was given to the ex-VP was for the North East wing of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the defendant equally donated N100m each to the South West and South East wings of the party on July 20, 2001, as well as N66m to the Plateau State chapter of the party to be shared to all the 274 wards in the state.

The anti-graft agency told the court that the N100m which was sent to PDP South West through a then Minister of Special Duties, Dr. Yomi Edu, was subsequently returned to Plateau State by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

While EFCC alleged that the defendant used N250m to purchase a property in London in September 2001 through the Chairman of Pinnacle Communications, Dariye however claimed that the fund was used to refurbish TV and Radio stations in the state.

Besides, Dariye was said to have bribed one Dr. Nkuma who was a Permanent Secretary at the Ecological fund office with N80m to facilitate the release of the fund to him.

Justice Banjoko held that Dariye failed to adduce any reasonable explanation for the funds he released to the ex-VP and the PDP.

The court said it was satisfied that Dariye was giulty of dishonest missaprropriation and criminal breach of trust.

It noted that out of the total ecological fund, only N550m was paid into the coffers of Plateau State following a hand written instruction the defendant gave to All States Trust Bank which he used to clear the cheque from CBN.

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