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Last Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
Wanted Nigeria governor returns
Joshua Dariye
Plateau State Governor Joshua Dariye has a month before he steps down
Wanted Nigerian governor Joshua Dariye has appeared from hiding and taken over government of central Plateau State for the last four weeks of his term.

Mr Dariye spent his day receiving supporters in government house in Jos.

The governor, who skipped UK bail three years ago on money-laundering charges, said the Supreme Court ruling for his reinstatement was "an act of God".

He enjoys immunity from prosecution while in office, so could face arrest once more next month.

Mr Dariye's deputy, who took over power while he was in hiding, has now disappeared.

Michael Botmang was expected to hand power to Mr Dariye at a ceremony but failed to turn up.

"I want the deputy governor to cooperate and handover properly. This dodging-dodging will not help," an exasperated Mr Dariye said.

The governor has also sacked all commissioners and other aides appointed by his former deputy and has brought back his old team.

"Those who think I have come here to fight back are making a big mistake," he told his jubilant supporters who received him in Jos.

Although he has less than a month left of his term following state elections earlier this month, Mr Dariye says he will "pump a lot of money" into a state-owned university he was building before he was impeached last November.

Nigeria's Supreme Court ruled last week that Mr Dariye be immediately reinstated as governor after it found his impeachment illegal.

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The court says Mr Dariye's sacking last November by eight of Plateau's 24-member state house of assembly was unconstitutional.

Mr Dariye was accused of embezzling nearly $9m in public funds.

Nigeria's anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been having a running battle with Mr Dariye.

But the country's constitution gives him immunity from prosecution while he is still governor.

He stands down at the end of next month after which the EFCC could arrest and prosecute him.

Mr Dariye says he has forgiven those behind his illegal sacking.

"I bear no grudge. I am a peaceful man I take after Martin Luther King Jnr," he told reporters in Jos.






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