Nigerian court cuts jail terms for ex-state governors

2018-11-17 17:54
Gavel (iStock)

Gavel (iStock)

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Nigeria's Court of Appeal on Friday cut the sentences of two former state governors found guilty of multi-million-dollar corruption - the highest-profile convictions to date in President Muhammadu Buhari's anti-graft campaign.

Jolly Nyame, a church pastor described by the judge at his trial as "the most audacious chief executive Nigeria ever had", saw his prison time cut from 14 years to 12.

Joshua Dariye, who was accused of "systematic looting and stealing" of state funds, had his sentence reduced from 14 years to 10.

Both were among 15 former governors who left office in 2007 and were questioned at the end of their terms by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission anti-corruption agency.

Nyame was found guilty of having looted some $12.2 million during his eight-year tenure as governor of Taraba state.

Dariye, who was governor of Plateau state, diverted more than $8.5 million - at the time- from the state treasury.

Judge Emmanuel Agim, who headed a three-member panel reviewing their cases, said the maximum sentence should not have been imposed on Nyame because he was a first-time offender.

But while reducing his sentence, he also imposed a 100-million-naira fine which he said should have been handed down originally.

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