Justice Mohammed Mayaki of the Niger State High Court on Tuesday directed that the former Governor of Niger State, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, be remanded in Minna prison till May 3, 2017, when the application for his bail would be ruled upon.
The former governor is standing trial over alleged N4.568 billion fraud and abuse of office.
Aliyu was docked alongside his former Chief of Staff, Umar Nasko, on a six -count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust, punishable under Section 97 and 312 of the Penal Code by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The defendants were accused of conspiring and dishonestly converting to personal use funds amounting to N4.568 billion, belonging to the Niger State Government.
According to the anti graft agency, the funds are for ecological projects, as well as proceeds realised from the sale of 16 per cent shares of the state in the North-South Power Company.
During trial on Tuesday, the counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Gbolahan Latona, and the lead counsel to both Aliyu and Nasko, Mr. Ayodele Oladeji (SAN), had engaged in marathon legal arguments over the application for and against bail and whether the accused persons should be kept in EFCC custody or Minna prison.
The lead counsel had argued that their defendants were always available when invited by the EFCC, adding that there was no evidence they would jump bail.
After much deliberation, Justice Mayaki then ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the matter till May 3 for ruling on the bail application.