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‘Stop the payment of Dariye’s salary,’ SERAP tells Senate President

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By Vincent UFUOMA

THE Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called upon the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan to halt the salary payment of the Senator representing Plateau Central in the National Assembly, Mr. Joshua Dariye.

SERAP says despite its lawsuit to stop the Senate from paying the convicted Senator’s salary in Prison, Dariye’s salary has risen to over N200m, 16 months after his conviction on a 16-year sentence for corruption.

“Dear @DrAhmadLawan Nigerians would like you to stop payment of N14.2m monthly allowance to Dariye in prison. The payment has risen to over N200 million, 16 months after his conviction and a 10-year sentence for corruption and despite SERAP’s and Nigerians’ lawsuit to stop the payment.”

It says a public servant should be treated as corrupt when it is convicted of corruption, noting that the reason why Dariye’s salary is still being paid by the Senate is because months after his conviction, his seat has not been declared vacant in the Senate.

“When a public servant is found guilty of corruption, he/she has to be treated as corrupt until exonerated by a superior Court.

The fact that his seat has not been declared vacant shouldn’t be a ground for him to continue to receive the benefit/payment meant for working lawmakers.”

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SERAP says if the payment of Dariye’s salary is not discontinued, it would undermine public interest and “also erode the confidence of Nigerians in public institutions.”

It says the situation might be a bad precedent for the Nigerian Public servants and service.

“If Dariye is allowed to continue to receive the payment, public interest will continue to suffer tremendously. It may also impair the moral of other lawmakers and may further erode the confidence of Nigerians in public institutions, and demoralise all other honest public servants,” it says.

There was a public outcry to stop the salary in December, 2018, when it was revealed by the media that the 8th Senate under the leadership of its immediate past President Dr. Bukola Saraki paid Dariye’s allowances even in Jail.

Mr. Dariye was in 2018 convicted and sentenced to 16 years imprisonment for criminal breach of trust and 14 years for criminal misappropriation of funds by Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the  Federal Capital Territory High Court. The sentences run concurrently.

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