16 weeks after state pardon,ex-governors Dariye, Nyame released from Kuje prison

Joshua Dariye, former governor of Plateau, and Jolly Nyame, former governor of Taraba, have been released from the correctional facility in Kuje council area, federal capital territory (FCT).


The development comes almost four months after the former governors were granted state pardon.


At a council of state meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in April, Dariye and Nyame were among 159 inmates pardoned.


The two former governors, who were both jailed for fraud, were granted pardon on the grounds of age and ill health.


Nyame was convicted in 2018 and given 14 years imprisonment for diverting public funds, but his sentence was later reduced to 12 years in 2020, following a ruling by the supreme court which affirmed the judgment of the court of appeal on the matter.


On his part, Dariye was sentenced to 14 years in prison for N1.126 billion fraud, but his jail term was reduced by four years, following a verdict by the supreme court affirming an earlier judgment by the court of appeal.


Speaking on the release of the former governors, Chukwuedo Humphrey, spokesperson of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), FCT command, said the development followed a letter received from the Presidential Prerogative of Mercy Committee on Monday.


Humphrey also said three other persons were released, but he did not state their names.


“We have no right to hold them further as soon as we have the letter of clemency from the presidency. If we do, it will be against their fundamental human rights,” NAN quoted him as saying.


“They have left the facility today. We got the warrant of release today and have done the needful.


“Dariye and Nyame were in Kuje custodial centre while the three others were in Suleja custodial centre.”


Meanwhile, at the time the state pardon was granted, it had generated controversy, with some persons insisting it would not send the right message on the fight against corruption.


However, the presidency had defended the decision, saying it was done in the interest of fairness.


“While it is natural that the cases of the ex-governors — two among many — would excite political analysts, coming at a time when elections are in the air, the President would at the same time have come across as insensitive and cruel to most people were he to have ignored very compelling cases recommended for pardon made to him because someone is a former Governor,” Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, had said.


“Even Governors have the right to be treated fairly under the law. President Buhari assures the nation that nothing done here was intended to achieve a political end or send a revisionist message on the relentless war against corruption which he has ably and evidently led by personal examples.”

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