A Minna Federal High Court on Thursday ordered the immediate arrest of the former governor of Niger State, Dr. Babangida Aliyu and his former Chief of Staff and governorship candidate of the People Democratic Party, Umar Gado Nasko for shunning the court order to answer to a N1.9 billion fraud case preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The arrest warrant was issued by Justice A. B. Aliyu, who also revoked the bail earlier granted to the two suspects in a case of money laundering brought against them by the EFCC.
The judge, who was visibly angry over the absence of ex-Governor Aliyu and Nasko in court despite the issuance of hearing notice, said the action of the two suspects amounted to a disrespect to the court.
The accused persons were formerly arraigned before Justice Bogoro Yelin where they pleaded not guilty to the charges.
But following the transfer of Justice Yelin the matter was remitted to Justice Aliyu who is handling the matter afresh.
The anger of the judge stemmed from the fact that the two men did not show up in court despite being served with hearing notices.
When the matter came up on Thursday, the two suspects and their lawyers were not present in court.
However, a lawyer to one of the accused persons, Mr. Osuman Mamma (SAN) was said to have written to the court that he was before an election petitions tribunal and could not come for the hearing.
But the court questioned why the senor lawyer did not send another lawyer to represent him in court and consequently revoked the bail granted to the suspects.
The judge adjourned the case to Monday, May 27, 2019.
Babangida Aliyu, who was popularly called “Chief Servant’ was governor of Niger State until 2015.