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Our evidence against Dariye stunning, say British policemen

Posted by By KENNY ASHAKA, KADUNA on 2005/01/27 | Views: 274 |

Our evidence against Dariye stunning, say British policemen


The planned testimony of two British policemen in the case of money laundering preferred against Plateau State governor, Chief Joshua Dariye ran into a storm Monday as the Plateau State Chief Executive said their presence in court offends the Nigerian constitution.

The planned testimony of two British policemen in the case of money laundering preferred against Plateau State governor, Chief Joshua Dariye ran into a storm Monday as the Plateau State Chief Executive said their presence in court offends the Nigerian constitution.

Dariye, represented by his counsel, Prof. Ben Nwabueze (SAN) submitted that the immunity which covered the Plateau State Chief Executive also dictated that the court should determine whether it was in the interest of justice for the visiting British police officers to give evidence against his client when he (Dariye) was not in a position to cross-examine them since he was not being tried.

The plank on which Chief Joshua Dariye challenged the presence of the two Britons from the Metropolitian Police in London, Messrs Peter Clerk and Robert Ingram rest on the fact that the wide powers conferred on the EFCC by the Act establishing it were same as the ones granted the Nigeria Police Force in the 1999 constitution.

According to Dariye's counsel, the powers of the EFCC runs counter to the rule of law which underlines the constitutional democracy established for Nigeria by the constitution.
Besides, Prof Nwabueze averred that such wide powers as contained in the EFCC Act 2004 contravene sections 214 and 215 of the Nigerian constitution as well as certain portions of section 153, 174 and 211 of the same constitution.

The two British policemen will, however, know whether they can give their testimony against the governor on Wednesday, January 26, 2005 despite an earlier judgement by the court striking out his name in the case.

Presiding Judge, Abdullahi Liman who had earlier promised to give his ruling on the case on Monday said that in view of the volume of argument before him, it is evident that he would have to study the briefs thoroughly before giving his ruling.

In a 50-paged brief of argument, Prof Nwabueze is praying the court for a declaration that the wide powers conferred on the EFCC with respect to investigation and prevention of crimes among others are inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution.

According to him, the National Assembly was wrong to have enacted the EFCC (establishment) Act 2004 with wide powers which are inconsistent with the 1999 constitution.

According to him, the court should determine among others, "whether the powers conferred on the EFCC by section 6(a), (b), (c), (h), (m) and (n), and section 7(1)(a) and (b) and section 8(5) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004 are not inconsistent with sections 214 and 215 of the constitution as well as with section 153(1)(L) and (m) and paragraph 27, 28, 29 and 30 of the third schedule, section 174 and 211 of the constitution."

"Whether the power conferred on the EFCC by section 6(d) and sections 24-33 of the Economic and Financial Crime Commissions (Establishment) Act is not inconsistent with section 35(1), 36(5) and 44 of the constitution.

Prof. Nwabueze argued that the charges brought by the Federal Government against the accused persons amount to a complete denial or disregard of the federal character of our system of government under the constitution.

"The charges are manifestly irreconcilable with the two fundamental principles on which a federal system is built ... and the principles of non-interference with the autonomy of the federating units", he said.

He argued that the EFCC Act 2004 bears unmistakable mark of the trampling of the principles of non-interference with the autonomy of the state government, citing the powers of the EFCC under section 6(b) to investigate contract scam including the ones involving state government as example.

Meanwhile, the two British policemen say the evidence before them are stunning and capable of nailing the governor.


The two British police officers, Robert Ingram and Peter Clerk told journalists Monday in Kaduna that they have been working on the Dariye case for a long time now.

"We have been working closely with the EFCC here and all the evidence has been a joint operation between the two countries. But the evidence we have is stunning," they said.

Although they will not say what the evidences are because "it could prejudice the court case that might be happening in London", they argued that mentioning what has been got could damage their case.

"Our function as police in London isto investigate all financial crimes, for example money laundering, confiscation etc."

On whether they were sponsored to come and testify by the Nigerian government or the EFCC, they said "We are working in conjunction with the EFCC and we have nothing to do with the government at all."

They argued that the British police came across the Dariye case and pursued it to its logical end, pointing out that several other people including Nigerians are currently under investigation by the British Police.

But they refused to mention names of those being investigated saying, "we are not prepared to mention names now. We've got to be careful what we are saying because we do not want to prejudice any future case in London".

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown