Aliyu, Niger ex-gov, former chief of staff granted bail
By Ummi Ismaeel,
Minna High Court presided by Justice Aliyu Mayaki yesterday granted bail to the immediate past Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, and his erstwhile Chief of Staff, Umar Mohammed Nasko, with fine options.
Babangida Aliyu and Umar Nasko are standing trial on a six-count charges of financial misappropriation levelled against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to the tune of, N4, 568, 680, 600 belonging to Niger State during the eight years of the administration.
The six-count charges levelled on the defendants by the EFCC are that: Babangida Aliyu as governor and Umar Nasko, as Commissioner for Ministry of Environment /Chief of Staff between January 1, 2011 and May 31, 2011 conspired to commit an illegal act to wit; criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 97 of the Penal Code.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Justice Aliyu Mayaki had given the bail conditions for former Governor Aliyu at N150 million with two sureties who must deposit Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) of their landed properties worth N200 million each in the court registry.
For the former Chief of Staff, who was the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 election, Umar Nasko, Justice Maiyaki said that his bail would be granted with an option of N100 million with two sureties who will provide C of O for landed properties worth N150 million each, located within the court’s jurisdiction.
The judge, however explained that each of the offences committed by Aliyu and Nasko attracts punishment of up to seven years imprisonment.
Speaking to journalists after the court session, Counsel to the 2nd defendant (Umar Nasko), Mamman Mike Usman, however, said that the bail terms were too harsh for his client, saying, he (Nasko) is a man of exemplary character.
Usman however said, “The Judge demonstrated tremendous courage and he showed good grasp of both in legal practice, procedures and as well substantive law.
“When you look at the bail conditions for someone whose antecedents are as reflected in the affidavit which the Judge believed, I believe strongly without being disrespectful to this wonderful academic ruling that was given by the Judge that the condition is harsh”.
Sureties to the former governor included his elder brother, Alhaji Ibrahim Aliyu, and one of his former commissioners, Dr. Peter Sale Sariki.