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Dariye’s pay rises to N171m in prison

A former Governor of Plateau State , Senator Joshua Dariye, continues to receive the N 750, 000 salary and N13 . 5 m monthly running cost from the National Assembly , 11 months after his conviction by a Federal Capital Territory High Court , SUNDAY PUNCH can report .

This implies that his total earnings have risen from N85 . 5 m in November last year to N171 . 1 m in May.

The sum is separate from a severance package he is supposed to receive as an outgoing member of the National Assembly .
The payment to the account of the convicted lawmaker has continued despite a lawsuit filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project before a Federal High Court in Lagos to “ stop the Senate President Bukola Saraki from paying former Plateau State governor, Senator Joshua Dariye, N14 . 2 million monthly allowances while he serves out a 10 -year prison sentence for corruption because such payment violates Nigerian law and international obligations .


Investigations by SUNDAY PUNCH showed that Dariye , who represents Plateau Central Senatorial District , still received the allowances because his seat had yet to be declared vacant by the leadership of the National Assembly .

The senator, who served as governor of Plateau from 1999 to 2007 , was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and convicted by Justice Adebukola Banjoko of a FCT High Court for embezzling N1 . 162bn .

He was subsequently sentenced to 14 years in prison, but his sentence was reduced to 10 years by the Court of Appeal which upheld his conviction last month .

The Director of Information at the National Assembly , Mr Agada Rawlings, in an interview with our correspondent , explained that constitutionally , Dariye could not be denied the payments .
Rawlings said , “ The point there is that his seat has not been declared vacant . You ’ re looking at the moral side of it but we are looking at the constitutional side. There are two issues that are at stake . Dariye, as of today , is still a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria . He has not been recalled.

“ Secondly, INEC has not declared his seat vacant . As the management of the National Assembly , we do not have such powers to do anything otherwise until the law speaks otherwise .

“ So , it’ s not for us as the management to decide who stays and who does not stay . The law on that is clear . The only constitutional provision to declare a seat vacant is on the basis of recall or death of a member . ”

He noted that some courts had given judgment , saying, even upon suspension by the rules of the house , if certain procedures were not met , such actions were deemed to be void .

“ But in this particular instance , there is a moral burden , but if there is no law that states that he has been barred as a result of the judgement and the court in this judgement did not say his position at the Senate of the Federal Republic ( had) lapsed , ” Rawlings added

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