More reactions have continued to trail Tuesday’s conviction of a former governor of Plateau state and Senator representing Plateau Central, Joshua Dariye by the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Gudu, Abuja, as a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Chindo Dafat, on Wednesday said that the conviction of Dariye was a testimony that the anti-corruption war of the Federal Government was not lopsided.
Dafat, who is the Publicity Secretary of the APC in the State, described the judgment as a “big blow” to the party and government of Plateau state.
He however, added that it would erase the notion that the war against corruption was a persecution of the politicians in the opposition.
According to him, “The judgment is a serious blow to us as a party, and the government of Plateau, because Senator Dariye is one of our strong pillars.
“However, this goes to tell Nigerians that the ongoing anti-corruption crusade is not a witch-hunt or lopsided as being viewed.
“If a former Governor and serving Senator, who is also a strong member of the party in power, can be sentenced to jail for corruption, then people must begin to see the seriousness in the fight against the menace,” he stressed.
The party’s spokesman called on APC stalwarts and Dariye’s supporters to remain calm and pray that government tempers justice with mercy.
Also reacting to the sentence, a chieftain of the opposition PDP and Chairman, Plateau Central Elders Forum of the party, Chief John Mankilik, described the sentencing of Dariye as “very unfortunate and sad”.
Mankilik appealed to the federal government to temper justice with mercy even though the judgement has been passed already looking at the contributions the former governor had made politically in the country.
“I feel sad about the judgment but be that as it may, the government should pursue its corruption fight with fairness.
“We don’t want a situation whereby the corruption fight is vigorously being targeted at a particular region but there must be fairness in all ramifications,” Mankilik stressed.
In his reaction, Barr. Caleb Mutfwang, former Local Government Chairman of Mangu LGA, and a Chieftain of the opposition PDP from Plateau Central Senatorial District, said, “I feel so sad when I got the news of Dariyes sentence.’’
Mutfwang added, “It’s a sad thing for Plateau. It’s ending so badly for a man of great promise.
“Looking at how Rev. Jolly Nyame was incarcerated recently, we hope that our leaders in the Middle-Belt are not being targeted for elimination from the political space,” he queried.
It would be recalled that Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Gudu, Abuja, on Tuesday June 12, 2018, sentenced Dariye to 14 years’ imprisonment.
The former governor was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on charges of criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of over N1.16bn Ecological Funds allocated to the state.
Banjoko, in a judgment that lasted nearly 8 hours, convicted the ex-governor on 15 out of the 23 counts levelled against him.