The Federal High Court in Minna, Niger State, has relisted the N2 billion alleged fraud case against a former governor of the state, Babangida Aliyu, and his former Chief of Staff, Umar Nasko, for retrial.
This effectively sets the stage for a fresh trial of the accused persons who left office in 2015.
Justice A.B Aliyu, who gave the order on Tuesday, also reinstated the bail granted the defendants, according to a statement by the EFCC.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Messrs Aliyu and Nasko (first and second defendants respectively) and Tanko Beji, the third defendant, for alleged money laundering.
They had faced a three-count amended charge of breach of trust and money laundering to the tune of N2 billion, but the case was struck out on June 19 this year by the court.
Mr Aliyu was initially docked and remanded at the EFCC custody in 2017 on a six-count charge of fraud. He was later granted bail in the sum of N150 million with two sureties in like sum.
Following the abrupt termination of the case, prosecution counsel, Faruk Abdalla, on October 13, filed a motion requesting the court to set aside its previous ruling of June 19, and an order for the relisting of the charge.
Mr Abdalla supported the application with a 21-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Samuel Chime, stating that: “We rely on all the paragraphs; we also file a written address in support, we adopt the written address as our oral submission and we pray the court to grant our prayers in the motion papers.”
Mamman Osman, counsel to Mr Nasko, who was represented by Iloh Asuelemeh, while speaking on behalf of the defence team, prayed the court to set aside the application.
Justice Aliyu, however, reserved the ruling for October 27.
At Tuesday’s sitting, the trial judge granted the relisting of the case and adjourned the matter to November 23 and 24 for the continuation of trial.