- As Dariye collects nomination form from Prison
The All Progressives Congress, APC, is clearly breaching the electoral laws, either as contained in the constitution or the Electoral Act in accepting fees for nomination and expression of interest forms from a convict serving 14 years sentence in prison. This is more so when the convict was found guilty of corruption which is the major tool of governance the APC government preponderantly relies on for goodwill and explaining its performance in the past three years.
The ruling APC, on Tuesday, acknowledged that former Governor of Plateau State, Senator Joshua Dariye, serving 14 years imprisonment, has collected, filled and submitted the party’s nomination form to contest APC primary for 2019 elections. The incarcerated senator was said to have commenced campaign for the APC primary election while in prison, a time 10 years is yet to elapsed, neither was he given state pardon by the President, as required by law.
National Daily gathered that Chindo Dafat, APC State Publicity Secretary in Plateau, in a media interaction in Jos on Tuesday admitted: “Yes, Sen. Dariye has picked a nomination form to seek a third term. It is true. He is among those jostling for the APC ticket in Plateau Central.”
Dafat was said to have maintained that Dariye has filled the form and submitted to the party.
“His ward secretary came and signed the form on his behalf. It has been filled and his supporters are already campaigning ahead of the party primary election,” the State Publicity Secretary in Plateau had explained.
Dafat insisted that Dariye will battle three other aspirants, who include Zakari Dimka, Sam Piwuna and Manji Pompori for the 2019 APC senatorial ticket in Plateau Central Senatorial District.
He was of the view that Dariye is “still very popular and relevant in Plateau Central in spite of his current ordeals,” he maintained that the embattled senator “can win the primary elections from the prison.”
Dafat noted that Dariye had appealed his conviction and could have it upturned because they are praying for him.
“Aside possible success in the appeal, we are also praying for a state pardon. That is another possibility.
“Dariye is very important to our party, unfortunately, this happened to him. It is not that we cannot win elections without him; we can win without him, but he has done a lot and is well loved by his people.
“Somebody could be in the hospital or prison and pick a nomination from there. We have no right to deny anyone a nomination form. Even INEC cannot stop Dariye from contesting the 2019 elections.
“There is no law that stops him from buying the form. Whoever comes for the nomination form can get it. I see it as a constitutional matter. Only the court can disqualify him.
“If Dariye wins elections from prison, he will not be the first Nigerian to do that. Iyiola Omisore, from Osun, once won a senate seat while in prison,’’ Dafat had declared.