Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, former governor of Niger State

By Uthman Siraja

Federal High Court sitting in Minna, the Niger State capital has struck out the case of financial misappropriation brought before it against the former Governor of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu for lack of proper prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). 

Justice Aliyu Aminu Bappah had earlier threatened to strike out the case at a resumed hearing into the matter on May21, 2020, if the prosecution from the legal unit of the EFCC were not prepared to prosecut the case.

“From all indications, you people are not ready for the prosecution of this matter; I inherited this case, I started it denovo, and it has suffered series of adjournments as a result of some laxity from the prosecuting counsel. I would not allow this any longer. Let me say this, if  you are not prepared for this case to continue, in the next adjourned date I will be left with no option than to strike it out.” the judge furiously told the EFCC legal team.

At the resumed sitting Thursdy, when the case was called, the prosecuting counsel of the EFCC Kabir Latino was not in court, but was represented by one of the lawyers who told the court that he was in court to hold brief for his senior who could not make it due to some official engagements that took him out of office.

At this point, the defense counsel to Dr. Babangida Aliyu, chief Mike Man Osuman, told the court that at the last sitting the prosecuting counsel was aware that the case was slated for today.  He wondered why the prosecution was not in court today “which is an indication that they are not prepared to continue with this case. My lord at the last sitting , you told them that if they are not ready to prosecute the case you will strike it out, my mord, I urge you to strike out the case in the interest of Justice” he prayed the court.

While ruling on the oral application of the counsel, the presiding Judge, Justice Aliyu Aminu Bappah then struck out the case for lack of diligent prosecution on the side of the prosecuting counsel.