Court Adjourns Ex-Niger Gov, Aliyu’s N2bn Ecological Fund Trial to April 15

Court Adjourns Ex-Niger Gov, Aliyu’s N2bn Ecological Fund Trial to April 15

Justice Yalim S. Bogoro of a Federal High Court, sitting in Minna, Niger State, has adjourned the trial of a former governor of the state, Babangida Aliyu, to April 15, 2019.

Aliyu, fondly referred to as “Chief Servant” is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly laundering Ecological Fund to the tune of N2 billion, released by the  Federal Government to Niger State in 2014.

Prosecuting counsel, J.S. Okutepa, SAN, on March 6, 2019 brought before the Court an application seeking for adjournment, noting that he needed time to sit with the investigation officers, who at the moment were on election duties.

He said: “We applied for exhibit, which is huge because we just came into the matter, and I was told that the application for the exhibit tendered had to be approved by his lordship, who is no longer here but comes to sit in this matter.

“It is this morning that they told me that the application has been approved. The exhibit is not something that I will just sit down, hear it and say I am ready to go on with it without reading it because what is worth doing [at all] is worth doing well.

“Some of my witnesses are not around because they are concerned about electoral matters. So those are the reasons why we apply for a new date.”

Counsel for the first defendant, Olajide Ayodele, SAN, raised no objections to the application.

Counsel for the second defendant, Mamman Osuman, SAN, also raised no objections.

Justice Bogoro, thereafter, adjourned for “continuation of hearing”.

Meanwhile, in another statement by the acting head of Media and Publicity of the commission, Mr. Tony Orilade, the EFCC says it has secured the conviction of one Imam Malik Kalle before Justice Fadawu Umaru of the Borno State High Court, sitting in Maiduguri on a one-count charge bordering on cheating to the tune of N1, 500, 000 (One million Five Hundred Thousand Naira) only.

Kalle, a former staff of Jaiz Bank Plc, Maiduguri branch was alleged to have defrauded one Muhammad Sani Abubakar, by fraudulently collecting the sum of N1, 500, 000 for a purported Mudaraba Investment with Jaiz Bank Plc.

Count one of the charge reads: “That you, Imama Malik, a former staff of Jaiz Bank Plc, sometimes in November 2016, in Maiduguri, Borno State, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, did obtain the sum of N1,500,000 (One Million Five Hundred Thousand Naira) only from one Muhammad Sani Abubakar, a customer of Jaiz Bank, under the false pretence that the said money will be used to service his interest in Mudaraba Investment, which pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 320(a) of the Borno State Penal Code Laws cap, 102 and punishable under section 322 of the same law.”

He pleaded “guilty” to the charge preferred against him.

Counsel for the prosecution, Halima Alhaji Shehu, prayed the court to convict and sentence him as charged.

The Judge thereafter, adjourned the matter was adjourned to March 18, 2019 for sentence and ordered the convict to be remanded in prison.

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