Justice Maiyaki Aliyu of the State High Court sitting in Minna, Niger State, has adjourned to Thursday, November 2, 2017, for ruling on two separate applications by the immediate past governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu and his Chief of Staff, Umar Nasko on the N3billion fraud charge preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
One of the applications is seeking an order to strike out criminal charge contained in the case, NSHC/ EFCC/2C/2017, while the other application is for an order directing the charge to be transferred to the Federal High Court, Minna.
Aliyu is facing trial alongside Nasko and Tanko Beji, a People’s Democratic Party, PDP, former deputy chairman on a 7-count charge of breach of trust.
At the resumed sitting today, Aliyu’s counsel, Ayodele Olajide, SAN, informed the court of a pending application seeking for an order directing the charge to be transferred to Federal High Court, Minna.
Nasko’s counsel, Mamman Osuman, SAN, is also praying the court for an order striking out the criminal charges contained in the case.
In response, counsel to EFCC, Chile Okoroma, opposed the applications in strong terms, describing it “as a calculated attempt to frustrate the trial”. He said that he had countered the two applications with an affidavit dated and filed October 30, 2017.
“There is no justifiable reason, whatsoever and it’s would be unfair granting such application. It’s principally aimed to delay trial”, Okoroma said.
He urged the court to give the defence 24 hours to respond to the counter affidavit.
Justice Maiyaki ordered the defence to respond to the counter affidavit within two days, while fixing Thursday for ruling.