- EFCC has re-arraigned former Niger state governor, Babangida Aliyu, over alleged N2 billion fraud
- The anti-graft agency also re-arraigned two of Aliyu's former aides over the fraud
- Tony Orilade, the EFCC spokesman, was quoted to have said that Aliyu and his aide pleaded not guilty over the allegation
Former governor of Niger state, Babangida Aliyu, was on Thursday, February 14, re-arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside his former aides, Umar Nasko and Tanko Beji, before Justice Mikailu Abdullahi of a Niger state high court sitting in Minna.
Premium Times reports that the trio are facing a seven-count charge of fraud to the tune of over N2 billion.
Legit.ng gathered that a statement by the spokesperson to the EFCC, Tony Orilade, said they pleaded “not guilty” to the charges preferred against them.
One of the charges reads in part: “That you, Tanko Beji, sometime between 1st January, 2011 and 31st May, 2011 in Minna within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, abetted the commission of criminal breach of trust by intentionally aiding Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, the former governor (also known as chief servant) of Niger state to dishonestly convert to his own use the sum of N937,110,500 which was withdrawn from Niger state government House security account."
The counsel to Aliyu, Ayodele Olajide, thereafter applied for the bail of his client, urging the trial judge to allow the politician continue with the bail previously granted him by the former judge.
“The earlier bail should stay since the defendants have not contravened the bail conditions,” he argued.
Counsel for Messrs Nasko, Mamman Osumam aligned with the arguments of Olajide that the bail should subsist.
Justice Abdullahi granted their prayers and adjourned to February 21 and 22, 2019 for 'mention.'
It would be recalled that the EFCC initially arraigned Aliyu, his then chief of staff, Nasko and Beji, a former deputy chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), before Justice Aliyu Maiyaki in 2017 for the charges.
Legit.ng had previously reported that Aliyu, following an application filed by the EFCC, was ordered by a Federal High Court to forfeit some of his properties temporarily to the federal government. The assets include houses, cars, and the sum of N57 million.
The presiding judge, Justice Yellim Bogoro, ruled that the assets would remain temporarily in the custody of the federal government until after the trial of Aliyu and his co-defendant, Umar Nasko.
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