The court sets the date for the preliminary hearing of the alleged fraud trial of former governor Aliyu

The court sets the date for the preliminary hearing of the alleged fraud trial of former governor Aliyu

A Niger State High Court chaired by Judge Mikali Abdullahi on Monday set October 14, 2020 for the pre-trial of the repossessed money laundering case involving former Niger State Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu .

Aliyu faces a legal process by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) together with his then chief of staff, Umar Nasko and the president of the Niger state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Barrister Tanko Beji on one charge. Amended of seven counts, border on money laundering and criminal breach of trust worth 2 billion naira.

Remember that Aliyu’s case was re-listed for hearing on September 14, 2020 and the defendants were re-tried on the same date, with the matter postponed until Monday, September 21, 2020, for the start of the trial.

The EFCC requested the change to the list following the dismissal of the case by the court in favor of the defendants on February 10, 2020.

At today’s hearing, the prosecution’s attorney, Faruk Abdullahi, informed the court that the prosecution was ready for trial as approved by the court on the arraignment date of September 14, 2020, to which the attorneys for the third defendant, Mamman Mike Osman () on the basis that Section 14 of the EFCC Establishment Act establishes a pre-trial protocol as a precondition for hearing the commission’s cases, adding that the Failure to present pre-trial evidence made the trial not ripe for hearing.

Defense counsel further argued that at the prior hearing, the defense would need to identify the prosecution witnesses and communicate with its own witnesses and identify the nature of their testimony and prepare questions for cross-examination.

“My final presentation is that this matter is not ready to be heard,” Osman said.

Abdullahi, however, expressed his dismay that the defense attorney challenged the start of the trial and reminded the court that the case was postponed for trial, today, September 21, 2020, after the arraignment of the accused on September 14, 2020.

In addition, he noted that the court, with the consent of all lawyers on that date, urged the prosecution to open their case.

Abdullahi, therefore, urged the court to go ahead with the hearing of the case as agreed by all lawyers on September 14, 2020.

“I am aware of the fact that defendants have the right to meet witnesses and have an idea of ​​the document presented. The prosecution has provided the defendants with copies of materials in volumes of documents on which to base themselves, including the list of witnesses, the summary of their statements and extrajudicial statements.

“The fairness of the case demands that we proceed with the trial, the spirit of the trial protocol has been approved by the court and the court left the case for trial,” Abdullahi said.

Judge Abdullahi, however, postponed the matter until October 14, 2020, for pretrial.

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