President Muhammadu Buhari has granted pardon to Joshua Dariye, former governor of Plateau state, and Jolly Nyame, former governor of Taraba state.
At a council of state meeting presided over by the president at the presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday, the former governors were among 159 inmates pardoned.
They were granted pardons on the grounds of age and ill health.
Another beneficiary of the pardon is Tajudeen Olanrewaju, former military general and minister under the Sani Abacha regime.
Akiyode, former lieutenant colonel and ex-aide of Oladipo Diya, was also granted pardon.
All the junior officers jailed for the failed Gideon Orkar coup of 1990 were granted pardon as well.
In 2018, 66-year-old Nyame, who was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for diverting public funds, was convicted and jailed for 14 years, after a trial that lasted 11 years.
The EFCC had accused him of diverting N1.64 billion during his tenure as governor of Taraba between 1999 and 2007.
His sentence was later reduced to 12 years by the supreme court in February 2020.
Dariye, a former senator representing Plateau central district, was also sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2018 for N1.126 billion fraud. But a court of appeal reduced his term by four years. The verdict was also affirmed by the supreme court.
Dariye, who has been in and out of hospital, also suffered emotional challenges after his father, Dariye Dafwan, was killed in June 2020 after payment of N10million ransom to kidnappers.
He was sentenced in June 2018 14 years by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.
In November 2018, the Court of Appeal reduced the sentence to 10 years, which was affirmed by the Supreme Court in March last year.
Dariye, 64, was governor between 1999 and 2007.
Due to illness, Nyame had sought bail after conviction but the court opposed it. At a point he cried out for not having access to his herbal medicine.
A source at the meeting said: “Both Dariye and Nyame were granted freedom based on the conditions for prerogative of mercy in Section 175(1-3) of the 1999 Constitution.
The council rejected a request for pardon for Francis Atuche, former Managing Director of Bank PHB, who was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment for fraud.