By Kingsley Chukwuka
Justice Adebukola Bankole of High Court Abuja has acquitted the former Governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye’s aid, Mr Shem Damisa of all charges related to money laundry, conspiracy and theft to the tune of N1.6 billion.
Damisa who was a former Plateau State Accountant General under Dariye from August 1999 to 30th September 2003, was 14 years ago accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for allegedly assisted Joshua Dariye to launder money.
EFCC in 2006 following the petition and investigation of the Federal Ministry of Justice picked Damisa and nine others on the allegation of abuse of office.
The ten listed Dariye’s aids that were picked by EFCC are Shem Damisa, Nuhu Ali Madaki, Y.B.Peslang, Silas Vongbut, F.D Bakfur, Mrs. Rose Wannang, M.D.Dalughut, Molwus Bentu, Haruna Daniel and Daniel Dariye among others.
“When we were arrested we were taken to Lagos and later to Abuja. Dariye was among the list but couldn’t be arrested at the time because of his immunity clause as a sitting governor.
“When the first judgement was given our lawyer raised objection of not guilty and appealed the case and one after the other we were all discharged and acquitted.
“We went through full trial by presenting witnesses.
It is the same judge that jailed Jolly Nyame to 28 years imprisonment, and Joshua Dariye to 14 years imprisonment in the same case and charges that acquitted us.
This means that she is in a better position to know who is at fault or who did what.
“These 14 years where really traumatic for me. I had wanted to run for the house of representative, but because of this case I couldn’t.
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I have been impoverished in these past years because of this matter”, Damisa said.
Our correspondent reports that pundits have demanded that Damisa gets compensation haven been accused wrongly and haven been impoverished as a result of the trial.
However, Damisa said he is grateful to God for still keeping him alive because many of the accused died while the court case lasted.
“We suffered needlessly but I thank God I am alive”, he said.