On February 14, 2019, EFCC re-arraigned Babangida Aliyu, a former Niger State Governor, Umar Nasko and Tanko Beji, before Justice Mikailu Abdullahi of a Niger State High Court sitting in Minna. They are facing a seven-count charge of fraud to the tune of over N2 billion.
One of the charges reads in part: “That you, Tanko Beji, sometime between 1st January, 2011 and 31st May, 2011 in Minna within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, abetted the commission of criminal breach of trust by intentionally aiding Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, the former governor (also known as Chief Servant) of Niger State to dishonestly convert to his own use the sum of N937,110,500 which was withdrawn from Niger State Government House Security Account”.
They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges. Ayodele Olajide, SAN, counsel for Aliyu, thereafter applied for the bail of his client urging the trial judge to allow Aliyu continue with the bail previously granted him by the former judge.
“The earlier bail should stay since the defendants have not contravened the bail conditions,” he argued. Counsel for Nasko, Mamman Osumam aligned with the arguments of Olajide that the bail should subsist.
Justice Abdullahi granted their prayers and adjourned to February 21 and 22, 2019 for “mention”. It will be recalled that Aliyu, his then Chief of Staff, Nasko and Beji, a former deputy chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party were initially arraigned before Justice Aliyu Maiyaki in 2017 for the charges.