Re-arraigns Ajudua

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned former Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, before the Federal High Court, Abuja on eight-count charge bordering on money laundering.

Aliyu was docked yesterday alongside his former Chief of Staff and the 2015 governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Umar Nasko, over allegation of conspiracy and diversion of over N1 billion Ecological Fund received from the Federal Government in 2014 on behalf of the state.

Both Aliyu and Nasko were alleged to have diverted the money into the account of a private company – D-Sabrin International Limited through the Niger State Commissioner for Environment.

However, the defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charge and therefore, prayed the court to allow them on bail pending the determination of the criminal charge against them.

The defendants through their counsel, Mr. Mamman Usman (SAN), had argued that the offences for which they were charged were bailable and considering also that they were earlier granted administrative bail by the anti-graft agency.

In a bench ruling, the trial Judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, granted the former governor and his co-defendant bail to the sum N200 million with two sureties each.

Justice Dimgba held that the sureties could be public servants or professionals. He further ordered the defendants to surrender their international passports to the court registrar.

The case has been adjourned till July 6 and 7 for hearing. Also yesterday, the EFCC re-arraigned Lagos socialite, Fred Ajudua for allegedly defrauding a former Chief of Army Staff, retired Lt-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi of $10.3 million.

Ajudua was re-arraigned before a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja on 28-count charge bordering on conspiracy to obtain money by false pretence. He pleaded not guilty to the offence of fraud he was alleged to have committed in 2004 alongside five accomplices.

The trial judge, Justice Josephine Oyefeso adjourned hearing of pending applications till July 12, 2017.