Alleged N2b Fraud: Defence counsel’s ill-health stalls trial of ex-Gov Aliyu, Nasko

By Emma Okereh

Justice A.B. Aliyu of the Federal High Court, Minna, Niger State Monday, adjourned till January 18 and 19, 2021 to continue the trial of a former Niger State Governor, Muazu Babangida Aliyu, and his then Chief of Staff, Umar Gado Nasko.

Their trial could not hold because the representative of Nasko’s counsel, Mamman Mike Osman had last week Thursday filed an application for adjournment based on his (Osman’s) ill-health, which he served on the prosecution and first defence counsels.

Though the counsel disclosed that he was in possession of Osman’s medical report, he declined reading it in court, stating that it was confidential.

Prosecution counsel G.O Adebola objected to the application, noting that it was “bereft of reasons why adjournment has to be granted,” especially as the prosecution he said, went to a great length to bring witnesses from Abuja and Port Harcourt and other places to the court, noting further that the defence was wasting the time of the court and that of the defendants.

Aliyu’s counsel, Musa Sulaiman, however, supported the application, saying he was not aware of any human being that is immune to sickness.

Justice Aliyu ruled the matter in favour of the defence counsel.

Aliyu and Nasko are facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on amended three-count charge of breach of trust and money laundering to the tune of N2billion. Though the matter was struck out on June 19, it was relisted on Tuesday, 27 October, and adjourned to today for hearing.

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