Niger govt denies plot to ‘embarrass’ ex-governor, Aliyu
By Ummi Ismaeel
Niger State government has distanced itself from plot by some groups to boo the immediate past governor of the state, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, who is being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for financial misappropriation during the eight years of his administration at the State High Court, Minna.
There has been apprehension in Minna, the state capital and its environs on whether or not the two-term governor under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should be tried of corruption by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) as many believ he had not done badly.
As the trial commences, findings by our correspondent revealed that political developments on the former governor and the present All Progressive Congress (APC) administration had become topical issues of comparism as citizens are sharply divided for or against Aliyu being tried for corruption.
Niger State government in a statement being broadcast on the state owned, Radio Niger, authored by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Tsado Vatsa, distanced itself from any plan to embarrass the former governor when he is brought to court.
The Abubarkar Sani Bello-led administration, according to Vatsa, holds in high esteem present and past leaders of the state and as such would not be involved in anything that would bring any of them to disrepute before the ordinary man.
Vatsa added, “However as a government we strongly believe in the rule of law and anti-corruption crusade of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration which is to rid the country of every form of corruption.
“The Niger State government therefore has no hand in the travails of the former governor who is currently facing corruption charges before the EFCC.”
Meanwhile, sources had it that some of those engaged in this grand plan to invade the Minna High Court to boo the former governor as his trial begins were arrested by operatives of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) last weekend.
When contacted, the state police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, neither confirmed nor denied the story but said, ‘‘Niger State police command was not involved in the prosecution of the former governor’.
Elkanah however told journalists that “The EFCC which is prosecuting has all it takes to protect life and property during and after the trial”.