A Minna High Court presided over by Justice Mohammed Mohammed has ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear the case of alleged criminal conspiracy and misappropriation brought before it against former governor of Niger State, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu, and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate Umaru Nasko. The court ruled that it has jurisdiction over the case following objection on the jurisdiction of the court by counsel to Dr Aliyu , Olajide Ayodele SAN at resumed hearing on Thursday.
Also joined in the suit is the PDP state chairman tanko Beji. Ayodele raised a motion on non-jurisdiction of the state High Court Minna to entertain the case at the resumed hearing. The hearing of a case of alleged criminal conspiracy and misappropriation against Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu and the governorship candidate of PDP, Umar Nasko was transferred from Justice Aliyu Mayaki to Justice Mohammed Mohammed necessitating fresh hearing.The prosecuting counsel representing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), JS Okutopa SAN objected, before the presiding judge, Justice Mohammad Mohammed ruled on the objection that it lacked merit because the case leveled against the accused persons were state matter and the offences were allegedly committed in the state. The counsel to the EFCC, JS Okutopa called on his first witness that investigated the matter Baba Mohammad to give evidence in the court on the crimes allegedly committed, between 2007 and 2015 amounting to N28 billion withdrawn from the Government House accounts.
He said in the course of investigation some top government officials were interrogated and confirmed that the order for the withdrawal of the said money came from the then Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu. The witness confirmed to the court that contract was awarded to four contracting firms in 2014 and at the end of the day profile of those firms could not be made available. The witness said that the then accountant at Government House, Jankaro Musa brought instruction orders and payment voucher used for the disbursement of the said amount.Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu is a senior civil servant who was elected governor of Niger State, Nigeria in April 2007. He was reelected on 26 April 2011. In the March 2015 presidential and senate elections, Gov Aliyu failed in his senate race against David Umaru of the All Progressives Congress, who obtained 149,443 as against 46,459 votes for the governor. On April 11, 2015, he failed to win in his own polling unit in governorship and state assembly elections in polling unit 006 where Aliyu’s PDP only obtained 100 votes against 361 votes for Kofar Danjuma Mainadi of the APC