Year in Review: Top 6 Nigerian heavyweight politicians jailed in 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was birthed in 2015 after defeating the then incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan, with three cardinal plans: Security of lives and properties, the fight against corruption and the resuscitation of the economy.
More than three years down the line, the president’s anti-corruption war has seen some heavyweight politicians feel the brunt of the law.
Though some Nigerians and major opposition parties have accused President Buhari of being selective in the fight against corruption, it cannot be said that there is no effort at all–whether selective or objective –being decisively taken against the scourge of corruption.
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While the African Union decorated President Buhari as the Anti-Corruption Champion for the year 2018, the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu also recently boasted that the commission recorded 246 court convictions of corrupt persons in the last 11 months.
As the year 2018 gradually winds up, Legit.ng takes a look at six big cases of corruption which led to some heavyweight politicians getting to witness the cold corridors of jail, either after being convicted or pending the time they meet their bail conditions.
1. Joshua Dariye
Joshua Dariye, a serving senator representing Plateau Central senatorial district and former governor of Plateau state, was accused of embezzling N1.162 billion ecological funds belonging to his state.
He was charged to court by the anti-graft agency, EFCC, in 2007, but the trial stalled for over eight years following Dariye’s protracted attempt to prevent his prosecution.
On Tuesday, June 12, Justice Adebukola Banjoko delivered the final judgment on the protracted case.
He was sentenced to 14 years in prison over criminal breach of trust and two years for misappropriation of public funds, to run concurrently.
He is reportedly the first member of the ruling party to be convicted. Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal in Abuja recently reduced Dariye’s jail term to 10 years.
2. Jolly Nyame
The former Taraba state governor, Jolly Nyame, was sent to 14 years in prison without an option of fine after being found guilty of 27 out of 41 counts of alleged diversion of public funds while he served as governor of Taraba state.
He was charged by the EFCC for allegedly diverting N1.64 billion while he served as governor between 1999 to 2007.
Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the high court of the Federal Capital Territory in Gudu, Abuja, sent Nyame to jail for criminal breach of trust by misappropriating N1.64bn preferred against him by the EFCC.
Born in 1955, Nyame was governor of the state from January 1992 to November 1993. He also governed the state from May 1999 to 2007.
3. Jonah Jang
A former governor of Plateau state, retired Air Commodore Jonah David Jang, also spent some times in jail before he got out on bail –he spent eight days.
Jang who was a military governor of Benue, defunct Gongola and Plateau states between 2007 and 2015, is facing a 12-count charge of diverting N6.3bn alongside a former cashier in the office of the Secretary to the State Government, Yusuf Pam. He pleaded not guilty.
4. Mukhtar Ramalan Yero
Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, a former governor of Kaduna state also spent about a week at the Kaduna Convict Prison.
Within five years, Yero without contesting an election became a commissioner, deputy governor and governor. Yero, who rose from a finance director in Namadi Sambo’s firm (Nalado Nigeria Limited) to become commissioner for finance in 2007, deputy governor in 2010 and governor in December 2012 following the death of Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa in a helicopter crash.
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Yero was in detention from May 31 to June 6, 2018, together with a former chairman of the PDP in the state, Abubakar Gaya-Haruna; a former secretary to the state government Hamza Ishaq and a former minister of power, Nuhu Somo Wya. They are reportedly standing trial over an alleged case of fraud instituted against them by the EFCC.
5. Senator Peter Nwaoboshi
Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP-Delta North) also spent 48 hours at Kirikiri maximum security prison over an alleged N805m fraud preferred against him by the EFCC.
Nwaoboshi who chairs the Senate committee on NDDC was arraigned alongside two companies - Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Summing Electrical Ltd - on a two-count charge of fraud and money laundering before Justice Mohammed Idris. The Delta lawmaker was granted bail on self-recognition.
6. Former governor Ayodele Fayose
The immediate past governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, spent a weekend at the Ikoyi Prison in Lagos, after he failed to meet his bail condition before the close of work on Friday, October 26. The former governor who is facing an 11-count charge of conspiracy and money laundering amounting to N2.2 billion was granted a N50 million bail on Wednesday, October 24, by a judge of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, Mojisola Olatoregun.
He was ordered to provide two sureties who must issue a N50 million bond in a reputable bank as well as possess three years tax clearance. The judge also directed that the former governor deposit his international passport with the court.
He has since regained freedom after meeting the bail condition.
Nigeria Latest News: Federal High Court Grants Fayose Bail | Legit TV