Court remands former Governor of Niger

Ex-governor, Babangida Aliyu in prison.

A former Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu who styled himself the Chief servant and his Chief of Staff, Umar Nasko have been remanded in prison.

The former governor is standing trial over alleged N4.568 billion fraud and abuse of office.

Aliyu and Nasko were remanded in Minna Medium Prison on Tuesday by the Minna High Court.

Corruption and fraud
Both men were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on charges of corruption and fraud.

The court remanded both men in prison after it reserved ruling on their bail application till May 3, 2017 and in view of the lack of facilities by the EFCC to hold both men in Minna.

The anti-graft agency had informed the court of its lack of detention facilities in Minna and urged it to remand both men in prison after the court reserved its ruling.

Aliyu and Nasko were arraigned on six counts of breach of trust by diverting to personal accounts funds belonging to the state government to the sum over 5 billion Naira.

They were ushered into the court room at about 8:40am, local time, by the EFCC operatives led by the commission’s lead counsel, Gbolahon Latona and three other lawyers.

Not guilty
The accused persons, however, pleaded ‘not guilty’ when the charges were read to them by the presiding judge, Justice Aliyu Mayaki.

The court stood down for 30 minutes at the start of the case to enable counsel of the parties involved in the case compare notes on oral application made by the EFCC to amend its original charges.

On resumption of proceedings, the counsel to Aliyu and Nasko, Ayodele  Oladeji and Mamman Osuman ‘did not object to the amended charges.’

In the first charge, Aliyu and Umar were accused of committing illegal act of criminal breach of trust in 2015 contrary to section 97 of criminal code.

They were accused in the second charge of withdrawing the sum of N540m from Zenith bank account No. 1012424374 for personal use, contrary to section 111 of penal code and punishable under section 104 of the penal code was for the former governor only.

The former governor was accused in the third charge of dishonestly converting to personal use over N1.725bm belonging to Niger State Government to personal use from Zenith Bank contrary to section 311 of penal code and punishable under section 304.

In the fourth charge, both men were accused of dishonestly converting to personal use the proceeds from the sale of Niger State government’s shares in the power plant amounting to N1.9bn.

The fifth and sixth charge bordered on the use of ecological funds amounting to N800m and another N432m by both accused persons.

NAN/Channels/Mercy Chukwudiebere