Minna erupts in jubilation as court grants bail to ex-governor Aliyu

Muazu Babangida Aliyu

There was jubilation yesterday in Niger State as a Minna High Court Judge granted bail to former Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu and his erstwhile Chief of Staff, Umar Mohammed Nasko.

Justice Aliyu Mayaki said the bail conditions for Aliyu include N150 million and two sureties who will deposit the Certificates of Occupancy of their landed property worth N200 million each with the registry.

Nasko, who was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the 2015 elections was granted bail in the sum of N100 million and would be guaranteed by two sureties with landed property worth N150 million each in the jurisdiction of the case.

Maiyaki disclosed that each of the offences attract a punishment of up to seven years imprisonment.

Counsel to the second defendant, Mamman Mike Usman told journalists that the bail terms were too stringent for his client.

“The Judge however, demonstrated tremendous courage and he showed good grasp of both practice and procedure and substantive law.

Aliyu included his elder brother, Alhaji Ibrahim Aliyu and one of his former Commissioners, Peter Saleh Sariki as sureties.

As soon as the news of the judgment filtered into town, thousands of youths marched around Minna carrying placards expressing support for the former governor.

Meanwhile, the Benue Concerned Citizens (BCC) has called on the National Assembly and the international community to look into the continued detention of former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja, the group led by Hon. Tim Nyor, described Suswam’s continued incarceration without trial as illegal and an abuse of his fundamental human rights.

“We call on the National Assembly to wade into the matter and save him from further embarrassment, intimidation and humiliation from the state. We equally call on the international community to come to our rescue by impressing it on the Nigerian authorities to stop the abuse of fundamental rights of Suswam by his continued detention without trial,” it said.

But Suswam has refused to cooperate with the Economic and Finacial Crimes Commission and the Department of State Service (DSS) over what he described as inconclusive declaration of exhibits purportedly recovered from him by the agencies.

In a related development, the trial of former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido at the Federal High Court in Abuja was yesterday stalled due to his absence occasioned by his detention in Jigawa pending the determination of his bail application slated for today.

He was docked on a four-count charge of allegedly inciting his supporters to violence by his condemnation of the process leading to local government elections scheduled to hold in Jigawa on July 1, 2017.

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