Sunday, May 29, 2022

How ex-Gov Aliyu diverted N2bn Ecological Fund to finance election campaign – Witness

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The trial of a former Niger State Governor, Muazu Babangida Aliyu and two others, Tanko Beji and Umar Nasko, continued before Justice Mikail Aliyu of the Niger State High Court on Thursday with the eleventh prosecution Witness, PW11, Bala Muhammed, concluding his evidence-in- chief.

The trio are facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for criminal breach of trust and diversion of ecological funds to the tune of a N2billion.

 The EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren in a statement on Wednesday, said that at today’s hearing, Mr Muhammed, informed the court how the N2bn meant for the execution of ecological projects in Niger State was diverted for an electioneering campaign.

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Mr Mohammed said: “On the issue of the N2bn Ecological Fund, the first defendant during the course of interview by the investigation team, clearly stated that they had a discussion with the then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that the N2bn Ecological Fund would be used to fund the campaign of Niger State governorship election.”

Consequently, counsel for the first defendant prayed the court to grant an adjournment for him to be fully prepared for the cross-examination.

But prosecution counsel Faruk Abdallah opposed the application. “

While we concede that adjournment is at the discretion of the court, we oppose the application as PW11 testified a month ago and only added to statements,” he said.

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Justice Aliyu thereafter adjourned the matter till May 13 for continuation of cross-examination.

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