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Former Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu Remanded in Prison over N4.56bn Fraud

A Minna High Court on Tuesday ordered the remand in prison custody of former governor of Niger state, Babangida Aliyu, who styled himself the Chief servant, while in office.

He 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.

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 Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), 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.

Ayodele Oladeji (SAN) and Mamman Osuman (SAN), who appeared as lead counsel for the 1st and 2nd defendants respectively, applied for the bail of their clients as they pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against them.

They argued that the defendants were always available when invited by the EFCC, adding there was no evidence they would jump bail.

The defence counsel, however, prayed the court to remand the defendants in EFCC custody, if it was going to fix a date for hearing of the bail application.

The EFCC prosecutor, Gbolahan Latona, opposed the bail application, arguing that it would jeopardise investigations.

The EFCC prosecutor also opposed remanding the defendants in EFCC custody, saying that accused persons were usually remanded in prison custody once the court takes “cognisance of the case.”

Justice Aliyu Mayaki, ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the matter till May 3 for ruling on the bail application.

The two-time governor, who served between 2007 and 2015, had been in the custody of the EFCC since April 4.

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Minna promptly deployed 30 armed men to Minna prison after the ruling by the court.

Philip Ayuba, Commandant of the Corps, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna shortly after the court sitting.

Ayuba said that movement of cars, motorcycles and other vehicles to the prison would be closely monitored.

“We will be patrolling the metropolis along with the Police and the DSS against any unforeseen circumstances,” he said.

He said the NSCDC personnel deployed will complement the efforts of the prison officers managing the prison against any security threat.

The commandant warned residents against any form of demonstration around the prison as anyone caught would be dealt with.

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Sacked PHCN Staff Electrocuted while doing illegal Connection

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Sacked PHCN Staff Electrocuted while doing illegal Connection

Sacked PHCN Staff Electrocuted while doing illegal Connection

A former staff of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company BEDC, in Agbor, Delta State, who was dismissed in 2009, was, on Tuesday, electrocuted in Agbor.

According to reports, the deceased, identified as Monday Ebor, was illegally working on high tension lines when electricity was restored.

Eboh who was wanted by BEDC for his illegal activities which destroyed many transformers, was said to be illegally diverting lines from one feeder to another when power was restored.

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United Kingdom Accepting Naira Payments from Nigerian Business Owners

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United Kingdom Accepting Naira Payments from Nigerian Business Owners

United Kingdom Accepting Naira Payments from Nigerian Business Owners

Former President of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC)Dapo Adelegan, has announced that the British Government will henceforth begin accepting Nigerian currency from Nigerian business owners in the UK.

Adelegan made the assertion in an interview on Wednesday in Lagos.

The British Government on February 9, through its export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), said it will accept Naira payments from Nigerian business owners trading with the UK.

Adelegan said that the initiative was a monumental step that will deepen trade, open more opportunities, expand patronage and market scope of products from both countries.

“If we look at the quality of manufactured equipment and technology; Made-in-Britain is number one.

“Through this, we will access technology transfer, boost the capacity of workforce and impact on our outputs of consumables and products in the market.

“It is a win-win situation that will go beyond procurement, as there are multiple layers of benefits that this will bring to the economy,’’ Adelegan said.

Joyce Akpata, Director-General, Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), also said the initiative will ease importation of goods from the UK to Nigeria and strengthen economic ties.

“The UK has the largest concentration of Nigerians in the diaspora and given cultural ties, it is something that should have happened before now,’’ Akpata said.

The director general said the initiative would improve knowledge sharing and technology transfer.

“We will see a lot of businesses in the UK supplying equipment and machinery backed by this finance to their Nigerian counterparts.

“This will enhance the activities of manufacturers, especially the growing SMEs that are into processing.

“It will also take off issues of foreign exchange challenges and instability in the market,’’ she said.

Akpata noted that the scheme would be a welcome opportunity for most Nigerian businesses that could not access financing locally.

She urged other countries, especially the United States, to take a cue from the UK to evolve initiatives that will assist businesses to maximise opportunities and strengthen trade ties.

Trade experts put the value of trade between Nigeria and the UK at about £8 billion, with oil and gas making up 60 per cent of the figure.

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South Africa’s Embattled President Jacob Zuma resigns

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President Zuma must face corruption charges - Supreme court rules

South Africa’s Embattled President Jacob Zuma resigns

The embattled President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma has resigned his office with immediate effect.

Zuma made the announcement in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday evening.

Earlier, Mr Zuma’s governing ANC party told him to resign or face a vote of no confidence in parliament on Thursday.

The 75-year-old has been under increasing pressure to give way to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC’s new leader.

Mr Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, faces numerous allegations of corruption.

His resignation came at the end of a long speech in which he said he disagreed with the way the ANC had acted towards him.

He said he did not fear a motion of no-confidence, adding: “I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability.”

According to President Zuma, violence and division within the ANC had influenced his decision to step down.

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