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Ex-Govs Dariye, Nyame, Gen Olanrewaju, 156 other prisoners granted state pardon

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Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame, two former governors of Plateau and Taraba states, respectively, convicted for corruption, have been pardoned on health and age grounds even though they have several years to complete their jail terms.

The National Council of State granted state pardon to the two ex-governors and 157 prisoners at its meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday.

Among the beneficiaries are a former military general and minister under the Sani Abacha regime, Tajudeen Olanrewaju, an army lieutenant colonel, Akiyode, who was an aide of former deputy to General Abacha, Oladipo Diya; and all the junior officers jailed over the 1990 abortive Gideon Orkar coup.

Nyame, 66, was governor of Taraba State from 1999 to 2007, and was serving a 12-year jail term at the Kuje prison for misappropriation of funds while he was in office. The Supreme Court upheld his conviction in February 2020.

Dariye, 64, who governed Plateau between 1999 and 2007, was jailed for stealing N2 billion of public funds during his time as Plateau State governor between 1999 and 2007.

The former governor, elected as senator representing Plateau Central in the Senate in 2015, was sentenced in June 2018 but still completed his tenure from jail in June 2019.

In 2021, he led a partly successful appeal at the Supreme Court with a five-man panel of the court headed by Mary Odili, quashing his conviction in respect of criminal misappropriation in a unanimous decision.

The offences he was discharged of only attracted two years’ imprisonment and, so had no impact on his overall number of years of imprisonment.

The apex upheld the ex-governor’s conviction in respect of criminal breach of trust, which attracted a 10-year jail term.

Adebukola Banjoko of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, had on June 12, 2018, convicted Dariye and originally sentenced him to 14 years imprisonment on charges of criminal breach of trust and two years jail term for criminal misappropriation.

But following his appeal against the judgment, the Court of Appeal in Abuja on November 16, 2018, commuted the 14-year jail term to 10.

While the Court of Appeal affirmed his conviction, it held that Section 416 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, prohibited the imposition of a maximum sentence on a first offender, such as the convict.

The former governor had appealed to the Supreme Court.

Ejembi Emo, a member of the apex court’s panel noted that Dariye’s appeal “succeeded in part” after quashing his conviction in respect of charges of criminal misappropriation.

The meeting of the Council of State was attended by former presidents and military heads of state, except former President Olusegun Obasanjo who is in the United States on medical vacation.

The Nigerian Council of State is an organ of the Nigerian Government as stipulated by Third Schedule Part 1B of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

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CDS listing Kuje escapee with Owo attackers a mix-up – Akeredolu

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Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State says the announcement of a Kuje prison escapee, Idris Ojo, as one of the perpetrators of the June 5 attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, was a mix-up.

Irabor had listed Ojo among those arrested in connection with the attack on the Owo church.

Ojo escaped from Kuje prison when the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) invaded the facility exactly one month after the Owo attack.

However, Iraboh was said to have listed Ojo among those arrested over Owo attack.

Clarifying the issue in a statement his spokesman, Richard Olatunde, signed on his behalf, Akeredolu said the arrest of the escapee coincided with that of the church attackers, hence the mix-up.

The statement read, “The attention of Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has been drawn to the announcement of Idris Ojo as one of the attackers of St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, arrested by the security agencies.

“Governor Akeredolu acknowledged the confusion the statement has created in the public space, considering that the ugly event of June 5 attack in Owo preceded the unfortunate incident on Kuje prison.

“The governor said there was a mix-up in the announcement by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor. Governor Akeredolu explained that Idris Ojo, who is number 14 on the wanted list of Kuje Prison Escapees was arrested in his brother’s house in Akure.

“The announcement of the arrest of Idris Ojo as one of the perpetrators of the June 5 attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo was a mix up from the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor.

“Idris Ojo, who is number 14 on the wanted list of the Kuje Prison escapees was arrested in his brother’s house in Akure. His brother, Jimoh Rasheed Ibrahim, received and accommodated him after his escape from Kuje prison.

“He was thereafter moved and kept in the custody of the security operatives at the same time the attackers of Owo Catholic Church were arrested and brought into custody, hence, the mix-up.”

Governor Akeredolu urged members of the public to remain vigilant and give necessary supports to the security agencies in the State.

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2023 Presidency: Tinubu most succesful Nigeria’s gov, fit to contest, says Nnamani

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Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is currently the most successful governor in Nigeria and he is fit to contest for President in 2023, ex-Enugu Governor, Chimaroke Nnamani, has said.

He stated this in a series of tweets on Wednesday just as he condemned those attacking Tinubu’s health status, saying they should get their facts right.

Nnamani said, “Ahmed Bola Tinubu is the most successful governor in modern Nigeria bar none.

“While my vote is covered by the Umbrella per my party PDP and our candidate, HE Atiku Abubakar, I take a bow for the hardest working Politico of this generation. He (Tinubu) patiently paid his dues.”

He wrote on his achievements as governor of Lagos State,

“When Bola Ahmed Tinubu was governor, Lagos State’s IGR rose from N600 million per month to over N8 billion per month. He had an impressive track record as a governor.

“His state contributed more than 30% to our country’s GDP, accounted for more than 65% of industrial investment in Nigeria, 80% of its international trade, and collected more than 60% of the country’s value-added tax.

“In the area of human capacity, his mentorship was first class and his mentees have spread out and like little acorns many have become giant oak trees in Nigeria’s political firmaments.”

Commenting on Tinubu’s capacity to lead the country, Nnamani who is representing the Enugu East senatorial district in the Senate, said, “Guess what, the Igbo are not going anyway. Rather in the spirit of their fathers and forefathers more are pouring into Lagos every day. Tinubu is qualified to run for president of Nigeria in 2023 as there is no evidence that he has dementia.”

He also gave instances of former Presidents of the United States of America who were not medically sound but still performed well in their respective tenures.

He said, “Since we all desire a better Nigeria, our politics should be grounded in facts and reliable evidence. This is the only way we can advance this nation. Ahmed Bola Tinubu is the MOST successful governor in modern Nigeria bar none.

“Permit me to mention some past presidents who stood out for being able to contribute to the growth and greatness of their countries despite health issues. The first person on my lineup is John F. Kennedy (JFK). JFK actually experienced almost daily discomfort. He had digestive issues, allergies, and a persistent back condition that necessitated several operations and was made worse by his participation in World War II. He had medical sequelae of hypoadrenalism, anemia, low blood pressure, etc essentially later determined to be Addison’s disease. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), the longest serving president of the United States of America served his term as president on a wheelchair this was as a result of polio diagnosis when he was 39yrs old in 1921.”

 

 

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One million compatriots died to keep Nigeria together — Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari

•Says God willing, Nigeria will remain one

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