Former Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye, on Thursday defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress.
He left the Peoples Democratic Party on whose platform he was first elected governor and then elected to the National Assembly to represent Plateau Central senatorial district.
Senate President Bukola Saraki announced Mr. Dariye’s defection just before the Senate adjourned on Thursday.
Mr. Dariye is one of the former governors facing corruption charges.
He is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on charges bordering on money laundering and diversion of funds.
His case with the EFCC is before Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, Gudu, Abuja.
He is alleged to have siphoned the state’s ecological fund to the tune of N1.16 billion.
In 2004, Mr. Dariye fled the United Kingdom where he was being tried for money laundering.
EFCC first filed charges against Mr. Dariye before Justice Banjoko in 2007. He pleaded not guilty and commencement of his trial was fixed for November 13 of that year.
However, before that date, Mr. Dariye filed a suit challenging the competence of the charges and the jurisdiction of the court. He argued that he ought to be tried before a Plateau State High Court and not the FCT High Court.
For 9 years, his trail was delayed until February 2015 when the Supreme Court affirmed the competence of the Abuja court to try him.
Mr. Dariye’s two telephone lines which he submitted to the National Assembly were not going through to ask why he left PDP as at the time of filing this report.
Already, Nigerians on social media have started suggesting the Senator did cross-carpet on the hope he would be helped to avoid conviction being a member of the ruling party.
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