How Former Governor, Dariye Bought a Pen for £7,000 in 2004 – Witness
Former Governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, bought a pen in 2004 for £7,000, a witness told a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The witness, Peter Clerk, a retired detective with the Metropolitan Police in London, on Monday, told Justice Adebukola Banjoko about the extravagant spending of Dariye in London including buying a pen for £7,000 in September, 2004,
Clerk was testifying as the ninth prosecution witness in the trial of the former governor on charges of alleged diversion of about N1.162bn Ecological Fund meant for Plateau State in 2004.
He said, “From the examination of Mr Dariye’s account, he travelled all over the world. From his passport, we saw stamps of several countries.
“We found seven pairs of shoes which cost £700 per pair. He paid £7,000 for a pen. He purchased a lot of things in high luxurious stores.”
Dariye was Governor of Plateau State between 1999 and 2007.
The former governor is now the Senator representing Plateau Central in the National Assembly.
Led in evidence by the lead prosecution counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), Clerk said he was also involved in the investigation of the former Governor of Bayelsa State, the late Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, for money laundering in London.
The witness, Dariye was arrested in his hotel room on September 28, 2004, while on a visit to London.
He said, “On September 28, 2004, we were informed that Joshua Dariye was in London in a hotel. I went there with two other officers who also identified themselves as police officers.
“I informed him (Dariye) that we were investigating his accounts and we arrested and informed him under caution that we believed that the money was stolen and proceeds of money laundering. He said nothing.”
According to Clerk, when Dariye was arrested on September 28, 2004, £43,000 was found in the former governor’s hotel room.
He said on the same day, £50,000, out of which £40,000 belonged to Dariye, was found with a lady, Christabel Bentu, who claimed to be the Personal Assistant to the former governor in the same hotel.
“In September 2004, £43,000 in cash was found in Dariye’s room when it was searched. There were various denominations and currencies including Scottish notes, dollars, euros.
“The cash seized was packed into a container, for which he signed. It was photographed. I have copies of the photograph. Dariye and Christopher Bentu were taken to the police.”
According to the Punch, Clerk told the court that Dariye is still a wanted man in UK. He said the Metropolitan Police did not ask for Dariye’s extradition to London because he was under immunity as a serving governor.
He said, “He (Dariye) failed to return for his bail. I immediately applied for a warrant of arrest, which was granted by a Magistrate in London. That is still valid. He is wanted in London as of today.”
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