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N2bn Trial: No Trace Of Contractors That Received N1.7bn Under Babangida Aliyu – Witness

Former Governor of Niger State, Muazu Babangida Aliyu

 

The cash laundering trial of a former governor of Niger State, Muazu Babangida Aliyu, and two others: Tanko Beji and Umar Muhammad Nasko continued on Tuesday March 30, 2021 with the primary prosecution witness, PW1, Muhammad Ndawuye Nmadu, telling the Court that auditors couldn’t hint the handle of contractors that obtained about N1.7bn from the Niger State authorities in 2014.

Nmadu, a retired auditor common of the state from 2007 to 2020, who was led in proof by the prosecution counsel, Faruk Abdullah, informed the Court that his duty as auditor common was to audit the books of account of the State.
“We have the responsibility to visit all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, including Courts, House of Assembly to ascertain the true nature of expenditure of the state. At the end of the year, we submit the report to the State House of Assembly.”

The witness stated that in the midst of auditing the accounts of the State for the 12 months 2014, they found that about N1.7billion which was obtained by the Ministry of Environment within the State was break up and paid to a few contractors. “2014 was not initially exceptional; the normal audit was conducted except that during the audit, the sum of N1.7billion was received by the Ministry of Environment, and the same amount was split and paid to three contractors,” he stated.

The witness additional revealed that apart the truth that the documentation for the contracts have been incomplete particularly the absence of Certificate of No Objection from the Bureau of Public Procurement, “We also sent someone to the addresses of the contractors, (someone here means a member of the audit team that visited the area) and we could not locate the addresses of the contractors”.

According to the PW1, the 2014 report which is in a booklet type, covers the report of the Auditor-General and the Account of Niger State for the 12 months ended.
Prosecution counsel, Faruk Abdullah sought to tender the report of the Auditor-General on the accounts of Niger State authorities for the 12 months ended December 31, 2014, however counsel to the primary, second and third defendants objected. However, their objection was overruled by the trial choose. The Court accepted the doc in proof, marked as Exhibit ‘A’.

Furthermore, the PW1 additionally informed the court docket that the audit workforce noticed that fee vouchers weren’t checked by Internal Audit, and funds have been made to contractors with out budgetary provisions.

Justice Mikail Aliyu adjourned the matter on the occasion of the primary defendant until April 19 and 20, 2021 for cross-examination of PW1.

Aliyu, Nasko, and Beji are being prosecuted on an amended seven-count cost of cash laundering and legal breach of belief to the tune of about N2billion earlier than Justice Aliyu of the Niger State High Court.

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