By: Valentine Adese,
With the arrest of the immediate past governor of Plateau State, now senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Jonah David Jang, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Pundits in the state are of the view that, Chief Senator Joshua Dariye, Late Chief Michael Botmang, (the late Deputy of Dariye) would be laughing and smiling with respect to his arrest.
According to most of the political watchers in the state, the build up to the arrest of the Senator was known to most people, as the ruling All progressive Congress (APC) in the state has never hidden its intention to recover alleged looted funds from the past administration led by Sen. Jang.
You would recall that recovering of the state’s looted funds was the major focus of the administration of the APC immediately its administration led by Governor Simon Bako lalong took over power from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state in 2015.
Pundits in the state told REALITY that, Governor lalong has been under pressure to make efforts to arrest Sen. Jonah Jang, immediately after assuming office. But, he resisted such moves, hoping to establish a proper case against the former governor first.
You would recall that Governor Lalong initially set up an Executive Committee, led by the Deputy Governor, Prof. Sunni Tyoden, to look into the state government’s books. The exercise produced an alleged debt of over N222 billion left by the administration of Sen. Jang.
Governor Lalong, also took steps to write the EFCC to direct its attention to the state, in order to assist the state in recovering these allegedly discovered looted funds, which never happened until now.
As a way forward then, the Governor relying on statutes, further set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCI) to look into the transaction entered into by the Jang administration from 2007 to 2015 (8 years) and make recommendations.
Pundits in the state however, while expressing their views with the developments and the arrest of Sen. Jang by the EFCC, though condemned the alleged denial of the Senator of access to his Lawyers and medication, called on people to recall that what is happening to Sen. Jang is not new in Plateau politics, as Jang also encouraged it when it was meted on other Plateau people and citizens.
They posited that, “Sen. Chibi Dariye would be laughing wherever he is today, as the former governor is now having a taste of the prisons and police cells in recent times especially, after leaving the military. You would recall that Sen. Dariye passed through a lot of humiliations in this country while he was a governor in the state and each inch of his predicament, the shadow of Sen. Jang was very visible.
“You also remember late Michael Botmang, we also believe wherever he is today, he would be smiling. You would recall that an alleged petition of Sen. Jang against him, as we learnt, made the EFCC to arrest Botmang and he remained under house arrest and custody till his demise.
“Don’t also forget that, the anger with which the administration of Jang came into office, saw also the arrest of Rt. Hon. Lalong now Governor and other Plateau State Lawmakers then, dragged into prison for days.
“Our take is that, the call for sympathy for Sen. Jang does not arise for now though we condemn the style been adopted by the EFCC of denying his access to his lawyers, medicine and others.
“What is more worrisome to us is that, the amount of money the EFCC is accusing the former governor of is five times more than the money he had accused Botmang, Dariye, Lalong and other former Lawmakers of the Plateau State House of Assembly (PLHA) of during his era to the same EFCC. N6.3Billion is huge money!”