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Judge Re-assigns ex-gov. Babangida Aliyu’s case

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, returned the criminal case file against former Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger state to acting Chief Judge, for re-assignment.
In his ruling, Dimgba ordered that the case file be returned to the Acting Chief Judge of Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Kafarati, for re-assignment to Minna Division of the court in Niger state.
Mr. Dimgba held that the application was meritorious.
He made the order following an application by Aliyu’s co-defendant, Umar Nasko, who was the governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 poll in the state and ex-Commissioner for Environment, Parks, Gardens and Forest Resources in the state.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on May 16 this year arraigned the duo on an eight-count charge of conspiracy and diversion of over N1 billion ecological funds, which the state received from federal government in 2014.
Nasko had, through his counsel, Mamman Usman (SAN), filed an application seeking the transfer of the case to Minna Division of the court.
Usman argued that the alleged offences were said to have been committed in Niger and insisted that it be transferred to the state.
He said “the basis for the application is to see that the trial is conducted at the proper forum and not out of lack of trust in this court to do justice.
“The prosecution had not placed or shown any evidence before the court of lack of security in Minna.
“All the evidences, witnesses and defendants in the matter are based in Minna, so it is more suitable that the case be conducted in Minna High Court Division.”
EFCC’s lawyer, Ben Ikani, in his counter-affidavit, however, withdrew his objection to the application.
When the judge asked Olajide Ayodele (SAN), Aliyu’s lawyer, about his view on the transfer application, he also said he had no objection. (NAN)

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