Minna – The immediate former Governor of Niger state, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu was yesterday re-arraigned before a Federal High Court sitting in Minna on charges bothering on money laundering.
Babangida Aliyu was arraigned alongside his former Chief of Staff and former Commissioner of Environment, Alhaji Umar Nasko on 8-count charges of criminal conspiracy and money laundering.
The offences are contrary to section 18 (a) of the money laundering Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15(3) of same Act.
The two are accused of laundering ecological funds amounting to over N1.940 billion released by the Federal Government to the state in 2014.
Our correspondent reports that the duo were re-arraigned after their case was re-assigned to Justice Aminu Aliyu following the transfer of the former judge presiding over the matter.
When the charges were read to the defendants, they both pleaded not guilty to the allegations.
Counsel to the first defendant, Olajide Ayodele (SAN) said he had filed an application for bail and prayed the court to grant same.
Counsel to the second defendant, Daniel Omako, however, prayed the court to exercise its discretion by granting his client bail.
The prosecution counsel, Boniface Bassey, noted that he would leave the issue of bail to the discretion of the court.
In his ruling, Justice Aminu Aliyu, restored the bail previously granted by Justice Yellim Bogoro and adjourned the matter until July 4th for hearing.