Court sends Babangida, one other to prison

The immediate past governor of Niger state, Muazu Babangida Aliyu and his former Chief of staff, Umar Nasko have been remanded in Minna Prisons.

The duo were on Tuesday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) before a Minna High Court on a six count charge.

The EFCC said Aliyu diverted N520million from the state’s Security Account domiciled in Zenith Bank account between January and March 2011.

He also allegedly diverted a separate N1.7billion from the same account within the same period.

Aliyu and Nasko also allegedly diverted N1.09billion, which was 16% of Niger State’s shares in the North South Power Company Limited in 2015.

“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,” one of the charges read.

Menwhile at the resumption of the proceedings on Tuesday, the ninety five count charges earlier levelled against him was reduced to six by the anti-graft agency.

The charges include dishonestly converting to personal use money belonging to Niger state Governor amounting to about N5b.

Babangida and Nasko were brought into the court room at about 8.40am by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, led by the Commission’s lead Counsel, Gbolahan Latona and three other Lawyers.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them by the presiding Judge, Justice Aliyu Maiyaki.

Maiyaki in his verdict asked that both should be remanded in Minna Prisons.

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