Justice Mikail Abdullahi of the Niger State High Court on Monday, set November 10, 2020 for ruling on the application brought by Tanko Beji, the third defendant in the N2billion money laundering case involving the former Niger State Governor, Muazu Babangida Aliyu and Umar Nasko.
Beji had on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, through his counsel, Muhammed Ndayako, who represented Mamman Mike Osman, SAN, filed an application, seeking for the striking out of the case for lack of merit as well as an order of the court to set aside his September 14, 2020 re-arraignment alongside the first and second defendants following the relisting of the case.
Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Faruk Abdalla, on that date, drew the attention of the court to the late service of the defence’s application on the prosecution and appealed to the court to give the prosecution time to react.
Justice Abdullahi adjourned proceedings till October 26, 2020, for the hearing of application in a pre-trial.
At the hearing of the application today, prosecution counsel, informed the court that the prosecution has filed a six-paragraph counter-affidavit, dated Wednesday, October 21, 2020 and deposed to by an EFCC staff, Hadiza Afegbua.
“We rely on all the paragraphs. The complainant has also filed an address and we adopt same as our legal lifeline to dismiss the application of the third defendant. We draw the attention to paragraphs 8 and 11 that the application is a legal argument contrary to Section 115 and we urge the court to strike out the paragraph,” Abdalla stated.
He further noted that the court having satisfied itself that there is an actionable case, ordered the arraignment of the defendants and urged the court “to hold that its ruling, delivered on September 14, 2020 was valid.”
The judge adjourned the matter till Tuesday, November 10, 2020 for ruling on the application and issuance of pre-trial report.
Aliyu and his then chief of staff, Nasko and the chairman, Niger State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Beji are facing prosecution by the EFCC on amended seven-count charge, bordering on money laundering and criminal breach of trust to the tune of over N2billion.