By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, told an Abuja High Court sitting at Gudu that the former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Chibi Dariye, was wanted in the United Kingdom for trial over his alleged involvement in money laundering.
The anti-graft agency told the court presided by Justice Adebukola Banjoko that Dariye jumped bail in the UK where he was arrested in 2004 and was briefly detained by the London metropolitan Police.
Dariye, who was the governor of Plateau State between 1999 and 2007, is answering to a 23-count criminal charge preferred against him by the anti-graft agency.
The defendant is a serving Senator representing Plateau Central.
Among those that are lined-up to testify against him include the current Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.
Meantime, at the resumed trial yesterday, an investigative officer at the EFCC, Mr. Musa Sunday told the court that the case of money laundering for which Dariye was arrested, granted police bail and was expected to report back, is still pending before the London Metropolitan Police.
The witness, while being cross-examined by Dariye’s lawyer, Mr. Garba Pwul, SAN, said the EFCC investigations into the financial activities of Dariye while in office as governor, followed information that was passed to it by the London Metropolitan Police, which showed that the accused was involved in money laundering.
“The defendant (Dariye) was granted police bail by the UK police. And he jumped bail. The Investigating Police Officer (IPO) in London, Peter Clerk was in Nigeria in the course of our investigation,” Sunday stated.
Aside Magu who was listed as witness in the matter, the EFCC, in the proof of evidence it filed before the court, said it has 32 other witnesses billed to testify and tender evidence against Dariye.
The EFCC boss was identified as the leader of a five-man team of detectives that investigated the case against the erstwhile governor.
Earlier in his evidence-in-chief, Sunday gave details of how Dariye allegedly moved funds from the account of the Plateau State’s Accountant General in Lion bank (now defunct) to an account in All States Trust Bank (now defunct) allegedly owned by a firm, Ebenezer Ritnan Venture Limited, linked to Dariye.
He said when the Plateau State Accountant General, Sham Damisa, a Deputy Director, Treasury, Nuhu Ali Madaki, and Deputy Director, Inspectorate, Silas Bum-But could not justify the payment of N204m to Dariye’s firm, they were charged to court.