Babangida Aliyu: Witness slumps at hearing

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A former director with the Niger State Ministry of Environment, Mohammed Shaba Yabagi, slumped during the commencement of hearing of the case of alleged fraud and abuse of office brought against former Governor Muazu Babaginda Aliyu and others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The former governor and Umar Muhammad Nasko, a former Commissioner of Environment, Parks, Gardens and Forest Resources are standing trial on eight-count charge of laundering ecological fund of about N2 billion.

At the commencement of hearing at the Minna Federal High Court Wednesday, Yabagi who is one of the prosecution witnesses in the case slumped during examination by the Counsel to the EFCC, Prince Ben Ikani.

The incident resulted in a short break after which the witness came back to give his testimonies and cross examination.

Another prosecution witness and former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Works, Malam Umaru Bawa, explained how the state obtained the ecological fund from the Federal Government and the procedure followed in awards of various contracts as well as payment of the contract sums.

He also submitted that some of the contracts were not executed.

He admitted during cross examination that he refunded some money to the EFCC, even as he claimed that there was outstanding of the balance to be remitted to the commission.

Also, a retired permanent secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Adamu Jagaba, testified in the case and identified vouchers for some contracts which were not executed.

The case has been adjourned to 26 and 27 of June for continuation of hearing.

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