The former Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu, and his former commissioner and Chief of staff, Umar Nasko, were yesterday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before a Minna high court on a six-count charge which includes dishonestly converting to personal use money belonging to Niger State, amounting to about N5 billion.
EFCC earlier arraigned Aliyu and Nasko on 95-count charges it was later reduce to six.
The accused persons were brought into the court room at about 8.40a.m. by EFCC, led by its lead counsel, Gbolahan Latona and three other lawyers,and they pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them by the presiding judge, Justice Aliyu Maiyaki.
According to Vanguard, the Minna high court however, stood down for 30 minutes, after commencement of the case, to enable counsel involved to compare notes on oral application by EFCC to amend its charges. On resumption of proceedings, counsel to the first and second accused, Ayodele Oladeji and Mamman Mike Osuman, did not object to the amended charges.
The first count charge accused the duo of committing illegal act of criminal breach of trust in 2015, contrary to Section 97 of the Criminal Code.
The second charge is of withdrawal of N540 million for personal use, contrary to Section 111 of Penal Code and punishable under Section 104 of same code.
Babangida Aliyu was in the third count charge accused of dishonestly converting to personal use over N1.725 billion, belonging to the state government, contrary to Section 311 of Penal Code punishable under Section 304.
The Ruling judge, after listening to the arguments from both prosecution and defence counsel, ordered the two accused to be remanded in Minna Prison custody till May 3 for the ruling on the bail application.