The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday arraigned former Niger State governor, Muazu Babangida Aliyu and his Commissioner of Environment, Parks, Gardens and Forest Resources, Umar Mohammed Nasko, before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja on an eight-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N1.46 billion.
One of the counts reads: “That you Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu (whilst being the Executive Governor of Niger State) and Umar Mohammed Nasko (whilst being the Commissioner for Environment, Parks, Gardens and Forest Resources in Niger State) on or about 23rd July, 2014 within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did indirectly take control of the aggregate sum of N478,495,600 (Four Hundred and Seventy Eighty Million, Four Hundred and Ninety Five Thousand, Six Hundred Naira only) out of the sum of N487,495,600 (Four Hundred and Eighty Seven Million, Four Hundred and Ninety Five Thousand, Six Hundred Naira only) paid by the Niger State Ministry of Environment, Parks, Gardens and Forest Resources to MJ Eco Projects Limited for environmental/ecological consultancy project awarded to the company in respect of Zone B of Niger State which money you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an offence unlawful act to wit: corruption and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.”They pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges.
They pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
In view of the plea, the prosecution counsel, Prince Ben Ikani, asked for a date for trial to commence, and urged the court to remand the defendants in prison custody.
Counsel to the Aliyu, Olajide Ayodele, SAN, however, urged the court to admit his client to bail.
However, Ikani told the court that he was yet to be served with the motion for Aliyu’s bail but had received that of Nasko.
Justice Dimgba granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N200million with two sureties each, who must be a public servant or a professional not less than the rank of a Director.The sureties must own houses in Abuja Metropolis excluding the satellite towns. The defendants are also to deposit their international passports with the registrar of the court and must not travel except with the permission of the court upon application to the court,” the trial judge ruled.
The sureties must own houses in Abuja Metropolis excluding the satellite towns. The defendants are also to deposit their international passports with the registrar of the court and must not travel except with the permission of the court upon application to the court.
The Court Registrar and the EFCC are to verify and ensure that the bail conditions are met within 48 hours and if not they are to be remanded in Kuje Prison.
The matter has been adjourned to July 6 and 7, 2017 for the commencement of trial.
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