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Bush Bars Dariye, Wife from US

Posted by By Ike Abonyi on 2005/03/13 | Views: 579 |

Bush Bars Dariye, Wife from US


In a determined resolve to assist Nigeria in its anti-corruption crusade, the President of the United States of America, Mr George Walker Bush, has signed a proclamation barring the embattled Governor of Plateau State Chief Joshua Dariye and the wife from visiting the country.

In a determined resolve to assist Nigeria in its anti-corruption crusade, the President of the United States of America, Mr George Walker Bush, has signed a proclamation barring the embattled Governor of Plateau State Chief Joshua Dariye and the wife from visiting the country.

In a letter entitled "Diplomatic Note" submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, on Monday, the US government outrightly cancelled visa belonging to Governor Dariye and his family.

THISDAY checks revealed that the US government has not been satisfied with Nigeria's handling of corruption cases involving public officers and may have resolved to help give teeth to the anti-corruption crusade of Obasanjo government.

"The President of the United States has signed a proclamation withdrawing the visa of the Governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye and his wife," a diplomatic source told THISDAY on telephone last night.

According to the source, the US is beaming its searchlight on some other Nigerians including governors and top politicians.

The Diplomatic Note is also said to have expressed the interest of US in the activities of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, warning against any untoward act on him because of his recent public statement against the former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd).

Another area the US government is not happy about is on the human rights abuse. A state governor is alleged to have presided over the killing of 19 persons believed to be political opponents, but labelled as suspected armed robbers.

They are worried that the governor has failed to release the report on the matter, months after the investigation.

Washington is also said to be unhappy with the rude and uncultured reaction of a Nigerian government official to the country's report on human rights and described the action of the official as a threat.

THISDAY checks also revealed that the implication of the ban placed on Dariye and his family is that European Union (EU) and the United States have a convention which makes them to apply the same punishment to an offender.

Recently, the United Kingdom through the International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) declared the governor wanted for alleged corruption and money laundering in that country.

Associates of Governor Dariye have also been facing several charges of corruption from the EFCC.

When contacted last night, an official of the foreign ministry who would not want to be quoted confirmed getting wind of a report on the ban on Dariye by US government. The court, acting on an application by London Metropolitan Police and Crown Prosecution Service, also ordered the freezing of all assets and bank accounts of Dariye, including houses, anywhere in the world.

By this international warrant of arrest, Dariye may find only Nigeria a safe haven because of the immunity he enjoys by virtue of the provisions of Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution. The section precludes the president, vice president, governor and deputy from prosecution.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi, last year, wrote the Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly detailing allegations of criminal offences against the governor. The offences, which were grouped in parts, involve those committed in violation of British law and those which violated Nigerian laws.

The letter accused Dariye of money laundering contrary to Section 14(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, illegal transaction in foreign exchange contrary to Section 29 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring etc) Act, 1995, false declaration contrary to Section 164 of the Panel Code.

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