A Minna Federal High Court on Thursday, May 23, 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.
Justice A. B. Aliyu accused the duo of shunning a court order to answer to a N1.9 billion fraud case preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The judge also revoked the bail earlier granted to the two suspects in a case of money laundering brought against them by the EFCC.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 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.
When the matter came up on Thursday, May 23, 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.
Meanwhile, 12 anti-corruption groups in Nigeria have called for the sack of the country’s attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
The groups made the demand on Wednesday, May 15 at a press briefing addressed by the convener of Say No Campaign, Ezenwa Nwagwu in Abuja.
According to the groups, the minister’s actions in office demonstrates impunity, contempt for the fight against corruption and outright abuse of public authority and sovereignty of the Nigerian people vested in the Buhari administration.