Former Niger Governor, Aliyu Remanded in Prison

Former Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, has been remanded in prison custody.
This followed his arraignment at the Minna High Court in Minna, Niger State, Tuesday.
Justice Mohammed Mayaki of the Niger State High Court also ordered that Aliyu’s former Chief of Staff and governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2015 election, Umar Nasko, be remanded in prison, alongside Aliyu.
The two were on Tuesday docked by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on a six-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust, punishable under Section 97 and 312 of the Penal Code.
Aliyu, who served between 2007 and 2015, was arraigned for alleged N5bn fraud and abuse of office during his administration.
According to the EFCC, the funds are for ecological projects, as well as proceeds realised from the sale of 16 per cent shares of the state in the North-South Power Company.
Ayodele Oladeji and Mamman Osuman who appeared as lead counsel for the 1st and 2nd defendants respectively, applied for the bail of their clients as they pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against them.
They argued that the defendants were always available when invited by the EFCC, adding there was no evidence they would jump bail.
The defence counsel, however, prayed the court to remand the defendants in EFCC custody and urged the court to fix a date for hearing of the bail application.
The EFCC prosecutor, Gbolahan Latona, opposed the bail application, arguing that it would jeopardise investigations.
Latona also opposed remanding the defendants in EFCC custody, saying that accused persons were usually remanded in prison custody once the court takes `cognisance of the case.’
The Judge, Aliyu Mayaki, ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the matter till May 3 for ruling on the bail application.
Aliyu, who was Niger governor between 2007 and 2015, had been in the custody of the EFCC since April 4.
Apart from being a former chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum, Aliyu was considered one of the most influential governors during the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) said it deployed 95 personnel to beef up security at the Minna High Court as the EFCC arraigned the former Governor.

Author: News Editor

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