21st September, 2018
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, (CACOL) has condemned call made by Plateau State branch of the All Progressives Congress, APC, that Joshua Dariye, a convicted criminal, should stand for election in 2019.
CACOL also lambasted the Plateau APC leadership for justifying the action of Dariye, a former governor of the state, for collecting the APC Senate nomination form from prison.
Dariye was sentenced earlier this year to 16 years imprisonment by Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal High Court Abuja, after being found guilty of diverting N1.162 billion state ecological fund when he was governor between 1999 and 2007.
In a press release issued by the organization’s Coordinator of Media and Publications, Adegboyega Otunuga, on behalf of the Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran noted that, “It would be recalled that just last week, the Secretary General of All Progressive Congress (APC) in Plateau state, Mr. Bashir Sati confirmed that the erstwhile governor of the state, Joshua Dariye, convicted of misappropriating the money belonging to the people of the state amounting to over One billion Naira and sentenced to 16 years imprisonment and now serving his prison term, has actually gone ahead to procure the party’s form for the Upper legislative house in the National Assembly.
“This is somebody that ought to be very remorseful and penitent for the breach of trust and great let-down his heist is tantamount to, not to overstretch the pains and privation this same financial mistrust has wrecked on the state. The argument of the APC Secretary General is at best, irresponsible and reckless considering that Iyiola Omisore was under trial during his own application for the Senate.
“He ought to have educated himself on the clear difference between an Awaiting Trial Inmate (ATM) and a Convict. His disparate comparison is an attempt at desecrating extant provisions of our groundnurm, the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended).”
According to Adeniran, “The 1999 Constitution, Section 107 (1d) under the ‘Qualification for Membership of House of Assembly and Rights of Attendance’ clearly states inter alia, ‘No person shall be qualified for elections to a House of Assembly if within a period of less than ten years before the date of an election to the House of Assembly, he has been convicted and sentenced for an offence involving dishonesty or he has been found guilty of a contravention of the Code of Conduct.”
The CACOL Boss also added: “Though the Acting National Secretary of APC, Mr. Yekini Nabena remarked that the Nigerian Constitution and the APC laws do not allow any convict to contest elections from prison and that Joshua Dariye would be screened out if the party finds out the form has actually been collected in his behalf, we make bold to say that what Bashir Sati said as the state’s substantive Secretary General is the true position of things as far as declaration of intent by Dariye is concerned.
“We therefore insist that this should be condemned, outrightly by the party and its leadership at the National level as this open rape on the Constitution is replete with dangerous implications and a major threat to the burgeoning democracy, if not immediately checked.”