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Former Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu, has been detained be the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over N3.6 billion gotten from sale of the state’s 16 of the 26 per cent stake in North-South Power Ltd and N2 billion ecological fund received from the Presidency in 2015.

The EFCC believes that the money was laundered by the former governor and was used to actualize his plan of enthroning one of his own protégés during the 2015 Governorship elections.

Vanguard reported that the EFCC confirmed that the ‘Chief Servant’, as he is fondly addressed, was detained on Tuesday at the headquarters of the EFCC by 10am as he honored an invitation by the anti-graft agency. One of their top sources said crack team of detectives had been bombarding Aliyu with series of questions since his arrival at the EFCC compound and was not about to be released as at press time.

The investigation carried out on the former governor involves cases of abuse of office and money laundering and might not be released if the investigation finds him guilty.

Aliyu is being questioned for allegedly diverting the N2 billion Ecological Funds for political purposes. He is also alleged to have fraudulently sold the state’s stake in North South Power, the holding company for Kainji Dam.

According to the commission, 16 out of the state’s 26 percent shares in the company was sold by Aliyu for N3.6billion. The agency stated that N1.09 billion was paid to Government House Minna, and was used for the 2015 elections, where Aliyu’s protégé, Nasko was unsuccessful in the race for governorship .

Vanguard also stated that a source revealed that EFCC was enthusiastic on finding out how the funds were spent. It said three companies, which reportedly benefitted from the fraud through contract awards are being investigated to determine the level of their involvement.

 The firms are: I D Sabon, M J Eco and Secta Plus. I D Sabin, a company perceived to be owned by the former Secretary to the Government, Saidu Nddako Idris, who allegedly got a contract N847 million. Part of this money was allegedly given to the former Chief of Staff to Governor Aliyu, Umar Nasko, who in turn, handed the money to the former governor.

Also, M J Eco, owned by one Nuhsinuazali Jibril, a friend to Ibrihim Nasko, received a N487 million for a contract which was never executed. The money was reportedly paid to various Bureaux de Change, converted into Dollars and given to Nasko who in turn gave the money to the former governor for undisclosed purpose.

According to the EFCC, only Secta Plus however executed the contract it received from the Niger State Government. “ We had to detain him as there are several issues that we are yet to cover even though he has made useful statement,” a top official of the agency confirmed last night.

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