SHOCKING: President Jonathan Asked me to Divert N2bn Ecological Fund into my Reelection Campaign – Former Niger Governor, Babangida Aliyu
POLITICS DIGEST– The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has revealed how former governor of Niger state, Babangida Aliyu, confessed the circumstances surrounding the diversion of 2 billion naira Ecological Funds meant for the state into his reelection bid.
EFCC quoted Aliyu to have said it was President Goodluck Jonathan’s idea that the money be diverted to fund the reelection bid of Aliyu in 2011.
“On the issue of the N2b Ecological Fund, the first defendant during the course of interview by the investigation team, clearly stated that they had discussion with the then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that the N2b Ecological Fund would be used to fund the campaign of Niger state governorship election,” a statement issued on Thursday by EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, read in part.
Aliyu was governor from 2007 to 2015 while President Jonathan was in office from 2010 to 2015.
Meanwhile, the trial of Aliyu and two others, Tanko Beji and Umar Nasko, continued before Justice Mikail Aliyu on Thursday with the eleventh prosecution Witness, PW11, Bala Muhammed, concluding his evidence-in- chief.
They are facing prosecution by the EFCC for criminal breach of trust and diversion of same Eecological Funds to the tune of 2 Billion Naira.
At the hearing, Muhammed informed the court how the 2 billion naira meant for the execution of ecological projects in Niger state was diverted for electioneering campaign.
Consequently, counsel for the first defendant prayed the court to grant an adjournment for him to be fully prepared for the cross examination.
But prosecution counsel Faruk Abdallah opposed the application. “While we concede that adjournment is at the discretion of the court, we oppose the application as PW11 testified a month ago and only added to statements,” he said.
Justice Aliyu thereafter adjourned the matter till May 13, 2022, for continuation of cross-examination.