By Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
A former governor of Plateau State and senator representing Plateau Central in the National Assembly, Chief Joshua Chibi Dariye, who was recently convicted and jailed by an Abuja court for financial misappropriation, is now allegedly seeking re-election from prison in the 2019 general election.
A Federal Capital Territory High Court in Gudu, Abuja in June convicted and sentenced the former governor to 14 years imprisonment for diverting public funds worth N1.126 billion.
However, while still serving his term at Kuje prison, Dariye on Friday allegedly purchased the Senate nomination form for re-election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), sources revealed.
Pictures of the purchased and filled form were displayed online on Sunday evening affirming that the convicted senator was ready to run for a third term in the Senate while still serving his jail term.
The senator’s kinsman, Shadrach Kopmuk, who published the photos of the form on Facebook, wrote: “Just to notify all teeming supporters of our amiable Senator Chief (Dr) Joshua C. Dariye, that the people’s senator has purchased and filled the APC nominations and declaration of interest to contest in the forthcoming APC primary election and 2019 general election to represent the good people of Plateau central in the ninth Assembly.”
Efforts to reach the senator through his aide for confirmation were unsuccessful.
Though the Nigerian constitution forbids ex-convicts from seeking elective position, Dariye might just be on his way to breaking that barrier, after all he is not yet an ‘ex- convict’.
Other sources said that Dariye has commenced processes for the appeal of his sentence, and might be let off the hook.
“If he hadn’t considered an appeal, his seat would have been declared vacant, but it can’t be because with the appeal, the case is yet undecided,” the source added.
If he becomes successful, Dariye might be the first Nigerian politician to contest an election from the prison. And if he wins the election, he will be the first Plateau senator to serve three terms.