[EDITORIAL] “Be Merciful. You Are A Christian, Your Name Is Jacob!”
...As Dariye begged for mercy
A mild but solemn drama ensued in the Federal Capital High Court in Abuja yesterday during the conviction and subsequent sentencing of former Plateau State governor, Senator Joshua Dariye.
The embattled Senator, being in the spirit and seeing the hammer coming his way, tearfully shouted at the prosecutor for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC], Mr. Rotimi Jacobs:
“Be merciful. You are a Christian, your name is Jacob!”
Mr. Jacobs had reeled out the crimes committed by the former governor and, in a brutal fashion, asked the court to throw the law code at him.
[To throw the book at someone, as used by the author, is an euphemism for bringing down the weight of the law on an accused person.]
The presiding judge, Justice Adebukola Banjoko, with her face like an extraterrestrial, and with a gaze, like a predator fixed on its prey, drove the nail deepest into the heart of the pleading Dariye.
Mr. Dariye, no doubt, felt the pain of Jesus Christ as the nails drove deeper and deeper into his palms and feet at Golgotha, also known as the “Skull place”, yesterday.
The sharp piercing painful plea evidently echoed the words, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me!” Just that in his case, his dollars failed him. They failed to perform the expected magic its known for.
Justice Banjoko, the jailer of former governors, the demystifier of the almighty and self-righteous governors, was as brutal, as in her usual fashion.
First it was Jolly Nyame, the former governor of Taraba State, whom she blessed with a 14 year recreational course on how to relate better with fellow humans. [One won’t be totally wrong to term her court “Animal Husbandry”]
Nyame wept! Nyame, who had his eyes on the Senate, sat teary-eyed, startled and devastated, as he looked on helplessly in the courtroom. Justice Banjoko is brutal!
And not only Nyame, Dariye also did weep.
He sat forlorn. At some point he begged to be allowed to use the toilet to expunge hot sh*t.
Everything happened so fast. It was a pang, a pang of distress like upon a pregnant woman.
Their world fell apart. Their center could no longer hold. The bowels caved in. he tried to hold on but no way.
He beckoned the court Registrar urgently and whispered: “Please I need to use the toilet urgently!”
The judge searched her soul and decided to show some humanity on this prey even though she knows that he deserves only to be devoured.
She waited patiently as Dariye did whatever he had to do there, evidently wishing that he doesn’t kill himself as it would bring her exercise to futility in her full conviction that the dead knows nothing.
What a relief when he reappeared in the courtroom. The die is cast. Nothing more to wait for. Time to share the spoil of war. And share, she did!
The gavel, even though it landed with a thud, landed with a BANG! upon the soul of Mr Dariye. His mind ran amok.
‘Who will inherit my money, wife, house, children, my senatorial constituency, etc. while I’m away for 14 solid years in gaol and in case I never returned,’ he evidently thought.
“It’s too late when the head is off,” reminded a movie he watched in the 90’s.
So began the journey for Dariye who is already being read riot acts by his colleague, both as governor and as inmate, Jolly Nyame.
The convicted Dariye had asked the prosecution to tamper justice with mercy after embezzling money meant for the public good.
After reading through the judgement, Justice Banjoko gave the lawyers room to speak for their clients.
Mr Dariye’s lawyer, Paul Erokoro, asked the court to consider the fact that his client “was ignorant of the offence” at the time it was committed.
According to Mr Erokoro, Mr Dariye was a victim of “the long years of military administration and should be viewed as a victim because he was ignorant of financial fraud and most of their components”.
Ignorant, my foot! one don’t have to be lawyer to know that ignorance is no excuse for crime. Half-done beans will be thy portion for 14 years.
Mr. Dariye was also found guilty bothering on criminal breach of trust, dishonesty, and diversion of funds meant for the ecological needs of Plateau state.
His case lasted over 10 years and he was standing trial on a 23 count charge for money laundering allegedly diverting the State’s 1.126 billion Naira ecological funds.
He was arraigned by the EFCC on July 13, 2007, for money laundering and other corruption charges.
According to the EFCC, the former governor diverted the funds into the account of Ebenezer Ratnen Venture.
Ebenezer Ratnen Venture is one of the companies through which he siphoned the public funds.
Mr. Dariye served the state from 1999- 2007.
NIGERIAN HAIL JUSTICE BANJOKO
Nigerians, regardless of race, tribe, religion, class or creed found a rallying point and succour in the courtroom of Justice Banjoko.
They found what the Russians will call “ЗОЛОТАЯ СЕРЕДИНА – ZOLOTAYA SEREDINA” [The Golden Mean]. It is a point where positive-negative, good-bad, north-south agrees to meet.
The next “zolotaya seredina” is the World Cup billed to kick off tomorrow in faraway Russia, the authors of “ЗОЛОТАЯ СЕРЕДИНА”.
Let us sample a few “zolotaya seredinas” of Nigerians below:
Anytime you are arraigned in court and you meet this judge, Justice Banjoko, as the presiding judge, well… you know nahFor the records, 2 ex-governors have collected 28 years from her!🤓
Justice Adebukola Banjoko has shown that she does not fight corruption the PMB way, that is by arraigning only his…
Nigeria needs 36 Judges like her across each of Fed High Court in each state in NigeriaMeet Justice Banjoko, The Tough Female Judge Who Jailed Ex Governors Nyame & Dariye (Photos)*
🇳🇬 “there should not be compromise in corruption. Corruption is corruption.” Justice Adebukola Banjoko Nigeria's no nonsense anti – corruption judge. Who have so far sent too powerful ex Nigerian Governors to jail for combined total of 28 years. https://t.co/fdf6WhkIiE pic.twitter.com/KC7wZKuU0x
— Kayode Ogundamisi (@ogundamisi) June 13, 2018
DISCLAIMER: Opinion articles are solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers of Elombah News