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7 Nigerian Ex-Governors That Were Sentenced To Jail



Since the return to democracy in 1999, several Nigerian state governors have been convicted of corruption-related offenses. Ex-Governors

Their conviction occurred after they had left office, and as a result, they were no longer protected by the Constitution’s immunity clause.

The following are seven former governors of Nigeria who have been imprisoned for corruption-related acts either within Nigeria or outside the country’s borders.

Lucky Igbenedion

Ex-Governors That Were Sentenced To Jail

Former Edo State governor Lucky Igbinedion was sentenced to six months in prison in 2008 for money laundering worth N25 billion.

He was accused by the EFCC of 142 counts of corruption including the use of front companies for a total of $24 million (£12 million).

Igbinedion, on the other hand, received a plea deal that required him to pay a fine of N3.5 million instead of doing time in prison.


Diepreye Alamieyeseigha

Ex-Governors That Were Sentenced To Jail

Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was the former governor of Bayelsa State.

On December 9, 2005, Alamieyeseigha was impeached on corruption charges.

On July 26, 2007, Alamieyeseigha pleaded guilty to six charges in court and was sentenced to two years in prison for each charge; however, his actual sentence was relatively short because the sentences were set to run concurrently and the time was counted from the point of his arrest nearly two years before the sentences. Many of his assets were ordered to be turned over to the state government of Bayelsa.

Alamieyeseigha claimed that he only pleaded guilty owing to his age and that if he had been younger, he would have fought the allegations.

He was released on July 27, mere hours after being hauled to prison, due to time previously spent in detention.

Alamieyeseigha died of heart failure at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital on the 10th of October 2015. Ex-Governors


James Ibori

Ex-Governors That Were Sentenced To Jail

At Southwark Crown Court in London, sentenced James Ibori, the former governor of Delta state,  to 13 years in prison  for stealing and laundering $250 million of government funds in Nigeria.

He stole the public funds within the period he served as governor of Delta state from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007.

Ibori pleaded guilty to 10 counts of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud. Following a court order, Ibori was released from prison on December 2016. Out of the 13 years he was sentenced to, he barely served four.

After serving his sentence, Ibori returned to Nigeria, where he was received with a “heroic welcome.”


READ ALSO: 10 Top Nigerian Politicians Who Broke Their Promise Not To Defect


Jolly Nyame

Ex-Governors That Were Sentenced To Jail

From May 29, 1999, to May 29, 2007, Jolly Nyame served as the Governor of Taraba State.

Upon leaving office in 2007, Nyame was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for a fraud of 1.64 billion naira in a forty-one count charge of Fraud.

During the trial, Nyame admitted to misappropriating N180 million  out of a total of N250 million earmarked for the purchase of stationery in Taraba state and offered to refund the money.

Nyame was found guilty of 27 out of 41 counts of alleged public funds embezzlement as governor of Taraba state on May 30, 2018, and was sentenced to 14 years in prison without the option of a fine. He was also ordered to return the funds he had misappropriated.


Joshua Dariye

Ex-Governors That Were Sentenced To Jail

Joshua Dariye is a former Plateau state governor who served from May 29, 1999 to May 18, 2004.

During his stint as governor, he was arrested in London, England, on January 20, 2004, with large sums of money.

He was accused of stealing $9 million in public funds and laundering the money.

Dariye was charged with 23 charges of money laundering by the EFCC in 2007 for allegedly diverting approximately N1.126 billion in Plateau State Government ecological funds.

In 2018, an Abuja High Court sentenced Dariye to 14 years in prison for criminal breach of trust and theft of cash (1.6 billion Naira) while serving as Governor of Plateau State.

On Friday 16th November, 2018, Dariye’s 14-year sentence was commuted to ten years by a Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja. Ex-Governors


James Bala Ngilari

James Bala Ngilari was the governor of Adamawa state for seven months, from May 2015 to May 2016.

He was found guilty of not following proper procedures when he issued a contract for the purchase of 25 automobiles valued at N167 million ($548,891).

In September 2016, the EFCC found Ngilari guilty of five of the 17 charges made against him.

In 2017, for defrauding his state of N167 million he was sentenced to 5 years in prison without the option of a fine.

His conviction was short-lived, as he was exonerated and set free by the Court of Appeal. Ex-Governors 


Orji Uzor Kalu

Orji Uzor Kalu was the governor of Abia State from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2007.

On December 5, 2019, the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court found him guilty of N7.65 billion fraud.

Kalu was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

On the other 27 counts, the penalties range from 3 to 5 years in prison. He was held at Lagos’ Ikoyi Prisons.

On Friday,8 May 2020, the Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled that his trial was wrongly conducted. He was as a result released from prison for a retrial. Ex-Governors 



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