Joshua Dariye, a former governor of Plateau state, was on Tuesday sentenced to 14 years in prison.
A Federal Capital Territory High Court in Gudu, Abuja, found him guilty of misappropriating N1.16 billion Ecological Fund meant for the state.
Justice Adebukola Banjoko also found Dariye guilty of criminal breach of trust as regards N250 million issued to Pinnacle Communications emanating from the state’s Ecological Fund.
In all, Dariye was found guilty of 14 counts out of 23 counts preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
But before Justice Banjoko gave her ruling, Paul Eroko, counsel to Dariye, pleaded for a light sentence.
“Appeals to your judgement do not succeed; we will fall on your mercy. The prisons are congested,” The Cable quoted him as saying.
“They misled the governor, it is the bank, and they said he didn’t have to present anything.”
But Rotimi Jacobs, counsel to EFCC, said Dariye did not deserve a light sentence because he “didn’t show remorse”.
Jacob asked the court not to give Dariye a light sentence in order to serve as a deterrence to those holding public offices.
“He is not remorseful, his case should serve as a deterrence,” Jacobs said.
At this point, Dariye said he wanted to speak.
“Have mercy, you are a Christian, your name is Jacob,” he said.
All pleas, however, fell on deaf ears as the one-time Senator was sent to jail.
The ruling came three weeks after the conviction of ex-Taraba governor, Jolly Nyame for fraud.