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How Ex-Gov Babangida Aliyu Siphoned Over N1.6b State’s Ecological Fund

The Account General of Niger State, Saidu Abdullahi, on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, told Justice Yalim Suleiman Bogoro of the Federal High Court sitting in Minna, Niger State how a former governor of the State, Babangida Aliyu, ordered the disbursement of over N1.6 billion from the State’s statutory account, for no purpose.

Ex-Governor Aliyu is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] for the alleged fraud.

While being led in evidence by Ben Ikani, counsel to the EFCC, as PW10, Abdullahi, told the court all he knew about the ecological funds stating that the disbursements were made in three tranches.

His words: “On February 8, 2014, the State received N2billion through the State’s statutory account, domiciled in Zenith Bank, from the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, from Central Bank of Nigeria.

“Thereafter, three disbursements were made to the Ministry of Environment in May, July and November, 2014 respectively”.

According to him, “the first disbursement made in May was in the sum of N1billion while the second and third disbursenent was in the sum of N366million and N240million respectively, totaling N1.606billion, leaving a balance of N393million in the State statutory account”.

Under cross-examination by Olajide Ayodele, SAN, counsel to Aliyu, Abdullahi insisted that “the disbursement order was made by the first defendant (Aliyu), with certificate of no objection gotten from Bureau of Public Procurement”.

Also testifying, Rabiu Musa, a Buraeu De Change Operator, who earlier testified as the PW9 told the court how he changed over N170million for one Ibrahim Nasko, a younger brother to the second defendant, Umar Nasko.

Musa informed the court that the said money was delivered to Nasko at two of his offices; one located at Wuse, and the other at his residence in Abuja.

“Ibrahim Nasko is my customer. He calls me from time to time. Sometimes, he offers me dollars to buy and sometimes, he buys from me.

“The business we had last, he put money into my office account. During that time, he put over hundred and fifty million naira. The second money he put was about twenty million naira, in which I sent the equivalent in dollar to him”, Musa stated.

The BDC Operator added that the bank used to transfer the money to him was Zenith Bank.

The case has been adjourned to October 22 – 23, 2018 for continuation of trial.

Aliyu, fondly referred to as “Chief Servant” during his time as governor is being prosecuted alongside his then Chief of Staff, Umar Nasko by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

They were accused of laundering ecological funds to the tune of N2billion released by the Federal Government to Niger State in 2014.

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