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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 November 2006, 09:19 GMT
Nigerian ex-governors on the run
Joshua Dariye
Dariye previously skipped bail in the UK
Two Nigerian governors sacked over corruption allegations have gone on the run, officials say.

Joshua Dariye was impeached by central Plateau State assembly on Monday, while Ayo Fayose was removed in southern Ekiti State last month.

"We have declared them wanted," anti-corruption agency chief Nuhu Ribadu told the BBC.

Five governors have been sacked in a year but critics say the crackdown on graft is tied to next year's polls.

Dubious process

Mr Dariye skipped bail two years ago in the UK, where he was wanted on allegations of money-laundering.

He returned to Nigeria, where he was arrested but charges were eventually dropped because governors enjoy immunity from prosecution under Nigerian law.

IMPEACHED GOVERNORS
Plateau State - November
Anambra State - November
Ekiti State - October
Oyo State - January
Bayelsa State - December 2005
This no longer applies if they are impeached.

Michael Botmang has been sworn in as Plateau State's new governor.

The BBC's Alex Last in Lagos says that, as with other recent impeachments, there are real questions as to the legality of the process.

Only about six of 22 state legislators voted for Mr Dariye's removal.

Polls

Riot police patrolled the streets of the state capital, Jos, on Monday to prevent any clashes between rival political groupings.

"Dariye was in Jos yesterday, we don't think he is too far away," said Mr Ribadu, head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

map
After Mr Fayose was impeached, President Olusegun Obasanjo declared a state of emergency in Ekiti and installed a retired army general to run the state until April's elections.

Under Nigeria's federal system, governors enjoy considerable powers.

The EFCC recently said that two-thirds of the 36 governors were being investigated on corruption allegations.

Controlling the governorship is also seen as being crucial to winning elections in a particular state.

Mr Obasanjo is not standing in April's elections but correspondents say he is keen to influence the choice of who will succeed him.

The BBC's Alex Last in Lagos says that none of the five governors sacked this year are allies of the president.


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