A former Nigerian president was once a prison inmate. But he left the prison to occupy Aso Rock.

If he can do it, then every Nigerian can dare to dream, including the convicted Sen. Joshua Dariye, who is currently serving a 14-year jail term over financial misdeeds while serving as Plateau governor.

Perhaps this was Dariye's thinking when he went ahead to purchase a nomination form.

The “serving” senator has picked an APC nomination form to contest in the 2019 election for a third term in the upper chamber.

APC Publicity Secretary in Plateau, Mr Chindo Dafat, confirmed the news on Tuesday in Jos.

“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,” he told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

“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,” he said.

According to him, Dariye will battle with three others – Zakari Dimka, Sam Piwuna and Manji Pompori – for the APC ticket.

The party official said that Dariye was “still very popular and relevant in Plateau Central despite his current ordeals, adding that the former governor “can win the primary elections from the prison’’.

He said that Dariye had appealed his conviction and could have it upturned “because we are praying for him”.

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“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 form 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 pointed out

But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the development as “shocking, strange and embarrassing”.

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