Senator Joshua Dariye, who is currently serving a 14-year jail term for fraud while serving as Plateau governor, has picked the All Progressives Congress, APC, nomination form to contest in the 2019 election.
Chindo Dafat, APC Publicity Secretary in Plateau, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Jos.
Dafat said Dariye’s form was signed by his ward secretary on his behalf.
He told NAN: “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.
“Dariye has filled the form and submitted to the party.His (Dariye)’s 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.
“Dariye will battle with three others – Zakari Dimka, Sam Piwuna and Manji Pompori – for the APC ticket.
“ Dariye is still very popular and relevant in Plateau Central in spite of his current ordeals and can win the primary elections from the prison.”
He added that Dariye had appealed his conviction and could have it upturned soon.
“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 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 said.