Dariye still wanted in UK, London Police tells court

dariyeABUJA—The Metropolitan Police Service, London, UK, yesterday, told an Abuja High Court sitting at Gudu that the former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, who is now a serving senator, was still wanted in the United Kingdom over his alleged involvement in money laundering. Senator Joshua Dariye Senator Joshua Dariye It told the court that a 2004 warrant of arrest issued against Dariye, who represents Plateau Central, after he jumped bail in London and escaped to Nigeria to avoid prosecution, was still valid. The Met, made the disclosure at the resumed hearing on a 23-count criminal charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against the former governor before the high court. The detective that led a team of Met police officers that arrested Dariye on September 28, 2004, Mr. Peter Clerk, testified before the court yesterday as the ninth prosecution witness. Clerk, who is now retired, narrated how his team arrested the defendant and his personal assistant, Christabel Bentu, in a hotel in London. He said Dariye’s arrest and subsequent detention was a fallout of an investigation into a credit card fraud involving one Christopher McQuiney, who he said was caught with 11,500 Pounds concealed in a briefcase. The witness told the court that McQuiney, who was arrested and taken to a police station in North East London, confessed that the money belonged to his boss, Dariye. Clerk said he had also testified before an investigating committee in Jos, saying his evidence was what eventually led to Dariye’s impeachment. While being cross-examined by Dariye’s lawyer, Mr. Garba Pwul (SAN), the witness insisted that Dariye would be arrested anytime he visits UK. Besides, the witness, yesterday, produced before trial Justice Adebukola Banjoko, seven boxes which he said contained printouts of all financial transactions, account opening packages and other exhibits that would establish Dariye’s involvement in the illicit transfer of funds to the UK. Dariye, who was the governor of Plateau State between 1999 and 2007, had since pleaded not guilty to the charge against him.
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