Saturday, September 24

Defection: PDP to INEC, Declare Dariye's Seat Vacant

Defection: PDP to INEC, Declare Dariye's Seat Vacant

Joshua Dariye

Joshua Dariye's status as a lawmaker in Nigeria is currently being threatened following a petition written to INEC by his former party, PDP.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare the seat of Sen. Joshua Dariye in the Senate vacant, Vanguard reports.

Dariye, on Thursday at the Senate, announced his defection from PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC), citing lingering leadership crisis in the party as reason.

In a statement by the party’s Deputy Chairman in the state, Mr Amos Gombi, on Friday in Jos, PDP urged INEC to immediately conduct fresh election for Dariye’s Plateau Central Senatorial seat.

It said that the fresh election would be in accordance with section 68, sub-section one of the 1999 Constitution as amended since Dariye had abandoned the party on whose platform he contested and won the election.

In 2015, Sen. Dariye contested and was elected on the platform of the PDP as senator, representing Plateau Central Senatorial Zone. ”But, by leaving the party, he cannot under this circumstance, lawfully and legally retain his seat as representative of the people in accordance with section 68 sub-section 1 of the 199 Constitution as amended. ”

We strongly condemn this act and demand that he should honourably resign and vacate his seat as senator representing Plateau Central, haven become a member of another party before the expiration his tenure. ”

So, we categorically call on INEC to immediately declare his seat vacant and conduct fresh election to replace him,” the statement demanded. The party denied any division or crisis in its ranks and called on its supporters to disregard such insinuations.

According to Premium Times, Mr. Dariye is one of the former governors facing corruption charges. He is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on charges bordering on money laundering and diversion of funds.

His case with the EFCC is before Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, Gudu, Abuja. He is alleged to have siphoned the state’s ecological fund to the tune of N1.16 billion.

In 2004, Mr. Dariye fled the United Kingdom where he was being tried for money laundering. EFCC first filed charges against Mr. Dariye before Justice Banjoko in 2007. He pleaded not guilty and commencement of his trial was fixed for November 13 of that year.

However, before that date, Mr. Dariye filed a suit challenging the competence of the charges and the jurisdiction of the court. He argued that he ought to be tried before a Plateau State High Court and not the FCT High Court.

For 9 years, his trail was delayed until February 2015 when the Supreme Court affirmed the competence of the Abuja court to try him.

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