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CONFIRMED: Dariye to run for senate from prison, submits nomination form Thursday
FORMER Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye, who is currently serving a 14-year jail term in Kuje Prison, in the FCT, will run for the Plateau Central senatorial seat in the 2019 general election.
There had been rumours that Dariye, who is the current senator representing Plateau Central, had purchased the All Progressives Congress (APC) expression of interest and nomination forms to run again for a third term in office. But the party’s acting spokesman, Yekini Nabena, dismissed the rumours, saying that he had reviewed the list of aspirants from Plateau State and Dariye’s name was not there.
“I have gone to the list for Plateau State, I did not see his name. But if somebody has managed to collect the form for him, he will be screened out. There is no way he can contest on our platform,” Nabena told journalists.
But the secretary of the Plateau State chapter of the APC, Bashir Sati, confirmed on Wednesday that Dariye purchased the relevant forms to enable him to run for another term in office come 2019. Sati said Dariye’s forms will be submitted on Thursday at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
Sati also said that Dariye would not be the first individual to contest for an elective position while in prison, citing Iyiola Omisore who, according to him, won a Senate seat in 2003, despite being in jail for alleged murder.
“The true position here is that Senator Dariye has bought the form and I have every course to believe that he has bought the form,” Premium Times quoted Sati as saying.
“Dariye is not the only person that was behind the bar and purchased electoral form to seek elective position. I could remember vividly well that Omisore, was in prison, contested and won a senatorial election.
“I don’t see Dariye’s case as an exceptional one. He has purchased the form and will submit it on Thursday.”
It is true that Omisore won the 2003 Osun senatorial election while in prison, but he was only remanded there while his trial for the alleged murder of former Attorney General of the Federation, Bola Ige.
Unlike Dariye, who was found guilty of two counts of corruption and subsequently sentenced to seven years imprisonment for each of the counts, Omisore was discharged and acquitted of the murder charge against him. He was never convicted.
The Nigerian constitution, as well the APC constitution does not allow an ex-convict to stand for any elective position.
It is not clear what is motivating Dariye to cough out N7 million to purchase nomination forms when it is clear he is no longer eligible to run for office in Nigeria, especially given that he had not appealed the initial court judgement sentencing him to seven years imprisonment each for two counts of corruption.