By Alex Enumah
The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the conviction of former Plateau State Governor, Senator Joshua Dariye, on criminal breach of trust and his subsequent sentencing to 14 years imprisonment, although the jail term was reduced from 14 to 10 years by the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal.
But the apex court in the same judgment quashed the criminal misappropriation of funds charge in which Dariye was sentenced to two years imprisonment.
The five-man panel of the apex court, while delivering the judgment in the appeal filed by the former governor against his conviction and sentencing by both a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the Court of Appeal, Abuja, the Supreme Court held that both the lower and trial courts were right in their findings on the criminal breach of trust filed against the ex-governor under section 3115 of the Penal Code.
The unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Helen Ogunwumiju however disagreed with the two lower courts on the misappropriation of funds and subsequently quashed or dismissed the charge.
The misappropriation of funds brought against Dariye under section 309 of the Penal Code carries a maximum of two years imprisonment.
Justice Adebukola Banjoko had in 2018 sentenced the senator to 14 years in the criminal bridge of trust, but was reduced to 10 years by the appellate court.
The appellate court further reduced the two years imprisonment imposed on the former governor in the charges of misappropriation of funds to one year.