Four months after the duo of former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, and his counterpart, Jolly Nyame of Taraba State, were granted presidential pardon by President Muhammadu Buhari, respite has finally come their way as the authorities of the Nigerian Correctional Service has released them.
Apart from the duo of Joshua Dariye, and his counterpart, Jolly Nyame who were released at about 11:30 am from the Kuje Maximum Custodial Centre, on the orders of the controller- general of correctional service, three other inmates from the Suleja Prison, among the 157 others who were pardoned by the National Council of State were also released.
Efforts by LEADERSHIP to get detailed information about the three inmates released from the Suleja Prisons proved abortive, as they were said not to be highly placed in the society.
A statement by the public relations officer of the FCT command of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Chukwuedo Humphrey, explains that the release is sequel to the receipt of the letter of clemency from the presidential prerogative of mercy committee by the controller- general of corrections, Haliru Nababa.
The statement stated that , “The controller of Corrections FCT Command, Ahmed Musa Ahmed, acting upon the directive of the controller -general also released three other inmates who were granted pardon from the Suleja custodial centre.
‘’The pardon which was granted earlier this year by President Muhammadu Buhari was done based on recommendations from the presidential prerogative of mercy committee who have interviewed all inmates based on deteriorating health status, age as well as good behaviour and industry during the period of serving their sentences.’’
LEADERSHIP further gathered that the said letter was transmitted to the Kuje Maximum Custodial Facility on Monday, August 8, at about 11;30 am, directing immediate release of the pardoned former governors.
Sources at the Kuje Custodial Centre told LEADERSHIP that the duo of Dariye and Nyame shed tears of joy while bidding farewell to other inmates, as their family members, friends and a few political colleagues who were on ground to receive them were thrown into excitement and appreciated the gesture of the council and the NCoS.
Recall that several weeks after the Council of State led by President Muhammadu Buhari, in April , approved their pardon and that of 157 others, the prisons authorities failed to release them on grounds that the federal government failed to send documents regarding their pardon to enable them perfect the process for their release.
Meanwhile, the attorney general of the federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, who addressed journalists after the Council of State meeting, noted that the council approved 159 out of 162 applications presented for consideration for the prerogative of mercy for convicts and inmates in correctional facilities nationwide.
Both former governors were serving jail term for corruption until they were granted pardon by President Buhari, a development that received a lot of negative reactions. They both served as governors of Plateau and Taraba states respectively.
Dariye and Nyame were both jailed for stealing N1.16billion and N1.6billion, respectively.
The two former governors, who are members of the All Progressives Congress, were convicted by Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Abuja High Court in 2018. While Rev Nyame, who was Taraba Governor from 1999 to 2007, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for stealing N1.6bn from the state’s treasury, with the judgment upheld by the Supreme Court, Dariye was Plateau Governor from 1999 to 2007. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison. But his term was eventually reduced to 10 years by the Court of Appeal in Abuja, while his conviction was affirmed by the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Jalingo, Taraba State capital went agog on Monday, following the news of the release of the former governor of the state, Jolly Nyame.
The news filtered into the state capital at about 1:45 pm on Monday that the former governor has been finally freed from prison in Abuja.
LEADERSHIP checks within Jalingo, the state capital revealed that the people were extremely happy chanting songs of praise to God while others were on tricycles riding and shouting the name of the former governor.
Jerome Nyame, the younger brother to the former governor who spoke to our correspondent said the Nyame family and the entire people of Taraba State were grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Council of State and all Nigerians who prayed for the release of Jolly Nyame.
He said the release of Nyame would add value to the peace and development of the state, stating that even when the former governor was in prison, he was consistently contributing to the peace and well being of the state.