Former Governor Babangida Aliyu Granted Bail by Court Over Fund Misappropriation
Former governor Babangida Aliyu, and his ex-chief of staff, Umar Nasko, has been granted bail by a High Court in Minna, Niger State Capital.
They had been remanded in prison by the court on Tuesday last week after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arraigned them on charges of corruption and fraud.
Both the former governor and Nasko are being tried for allegedly embezzling N3 billion of the state funds while in office. Aliyu and Nasko were allegedly accused of diverting about N1.09bn, which was 16 per cent shares of Niger State in the North South Power Company Limited. The alleged crimes are believed to be in contravention of sections 97 and 312 of the Penal Code. One of the counts reads:
“That you, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, being the governor (also known as chief servant) of Niger State from 2007 to 2015; Umar Mohammed Nasko, being the former Commissioner for Environment/Chief of Staff to Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, sometime between April 7, 2015 and December 7, 2015 in Minna within the jurisdiction of this honourable court while being entrusted with dominion over money belonging to Niger State Government dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of N1,090, 000,000, which formed part of the proceeds of the sale of 16 per cent shares of the sale of Niger State in the North South Power Company Limited and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 312 of the Penal Code.”
The defendant however, pleaded not guilty.
Ruling on the bail applications of the accused, Justice Aliyu Mayaki said: “The first applicant is admitted to bail in the sum of N150 million with two sureties in like sum, who must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court. “The sureties must also deposit Certificate of Occupancy (C of O)of landed property worth not less than N200 million, situated within the jurisdiction of the court. “The second applicant is granted bail in the sum of N100 million and two sureties in like sum. “The sureties must deposit C of O of landed property worth not less than N150 million.” The judge held that the EFCC had not adduced concrete evidence to show that the defendants would interfere with justice, if granted bail. He said that the defendants had no criminal antecedents, adding that they provided sufficient materials in support of their applications. The judge adjourned the case until June 12 commencement of hearing.
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