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£920,000 found in Dariye's account

Posted by By KENNY ASHAKA, Kaduna on 2005/01/27 | Views: 345 |

£920,000 found in Dariye's account


The Metropolitan Police in London Wednesday gave a graphic account of how and why the Plateau State governor, Chief Joshua Dariye, was arrested for alleged money laundering.

The Metropolitan Police in London Wednesday gave a graphic account of how and why the Plateau State governor, Chief Joshua Dariye, was arrested for alleged money laundering.

Peter Clark, one of the Metropolitan Police officers, in his testimony at the Federal High Court in Kaduna, said that the processes leading to Dariye’s arrest was sparked off by incessant cases of large scale credit card scam in London.

The British cop, who said that he has spent six out of his 20 years’ career in the police as a detective, submitted that Dariye was arrested at Ameria Hotel, London and that about 43,000 pounds were found on him.

Clark told the court that in January 2004, officers of the Metropolitan Police service came across a large scale credit card fraud which led to further investigations and discoveries.

According to him, searches were carried out in some property in London and that one of the houses searched was 127, Hilton House, Portlane Street, London SW1, where they found a Barclays Bank statement belonging to Chief Joshua Chibi Dariye. He noted that the account had a credit balance of 920,000 pounds, which was further confirmed by the bank officials.

Further investigations, he said, revealed that much of the money was transferred into the account from Ebenezer Retnam Ventures in Nigeria from its accounts at All States Trust Bank Plc in Nigeria.
Clark disclosed that upon these discoveries, he contacted his superiors and a decision was reached to arrest the governor for money laundering.

"Upon enquiry, I found out that Joshua Chibi Dariye was staying at Ameria Hotel in London. I went there with officers from my department and we went to the room occupied by him. He was alone in the room where he was arrested. I made a systematic search of the room and we found 43,000 pounds.

"The hotel management also told us that Dariye booked for another room in the same hotel and on the same floor. We went to the room occupied by a female, Christabel Mary Bentu, who claimed to be his personal assistant for over nine years. She was in possession of Dariye's passport and airline tickets. She was found with 50,000 pounds and was arrested for money laundering.

Under cross-examination by Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN), Clark named Diamond Bank, Standard Trust Bank, Afribank and Lion Bank as the other banks that were involved in transferring money into the governor's account in London.
He noted that Ebenezer Retnan Ventures, being a business outfit, can transfer money at anytime and to any account.

He also said that as a police officer, he has not conducted any investigation in Nigeria, neither is the money laundering act in the United Kingdom operational in Nigeria.
The court has adjourned till February 1, 2005.

Earlier, the court, presided over by Justice Abdullahi Liman, dismissed the application brought by counsel to the governor challenging the sweeping powers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The judge said that the constitution had conferred powers on the National Assembly to legislate for the nation, pointing out that it would be out of place to hold that the powers of the EFCC are in conflict with the constitution.
Justice Liman also dismissed an application for stay of proceedings brought by counsel to all the defendants pending the determination of an appeal at the Court of Appeal sitting in Kaduna.

The defence is contesting the decision of the court to continue with the case even after striking out the name of the first defendant in the case, Chief Joshua Dariye, arguing that the six other defendants are not the principal accused.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.