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Alleged N4bn fraud: EFCC appeals High Court ruling on Babangida Aliyu, Tanko Beji

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has approached the Court of Appeal to set aside a no-case ruling granted to a former governor of Niger State, Muazu Babangida Aliyu and former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Tanko Beji, by Justice Abdullahi Mukailu of the Niger State High Court sitting in Minna on December 7, 2023.

This was contained in a statement by the EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, on Thursday in Abuja.

He said the commission had filed a seven-count charge bordering on conspiracy, abetment and criminal breach of trust before Justice Aliyu Mayaki (now retired) against Beji, Aliyu and his former Commissioner for Environment and Chief of Staff, Umar Mohammed Nasko.

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According to the statement: “The matter was later reassigned to Justice Abdullahi Mukailu and the EFCC called 11 witnesses, tendered over 400 exhibits and closed its case. However, the three defendants made a no-case submission before the court and His Lordship on December 7, 2023, granted the prayers in favour of Aliyu and Beji and directed Nasko to open his defence.”

He said the EFCC, dissatisfied with the ruling of His Lordship on Aliyu and Beji regarding their no-case submission and fully persuaded that a prima facie case had been established against them, filed a Notice of Appeal dated January 10, 2024.

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He added that the commission was optimistic that the Court of Appeal would do justice to the appeal.

Surprisingly, on January 15, 2024, when the EFCC’s counsel appeared in court to continue the trial of Nasko, without any prior notice, the Attorney General of Niger State made an appearance in court with an application to take over the case from the EFCC.

Not done yet, he made another appearance four hours later and entered a nolle prosequi, which His Lordship acted on and discharged Nasko.

“For the EFCC, the road has not closed. The Commission is proceeding with its appeal against Aliyu and Beji at the Court of Appeal with all its evidence against them.

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“The Commission will continue to discharge its duties in line with its mandate of tackling all forms of economic and financial crimes without fear or favour,” the statement added.

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