By Abdullahi Olesin, Ilorin
A Minna High Court presided over by Justice Aliyu Mayaki has ordered that the chairman of the Niger State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Barr. Tanko Beji, be remanded in prison custody pending a bail application before the court.
The counsel to the former governor Muazu Babaginda Aliyu who was also standing trial in the court, Ayodele Oladeji and stood in for Beji had urged the court to grant him bail on the grounds that the PDP chairman had been a lawyer in the state.
The counsel to the EFCC, Gbolahon Latona argued against the bail because the offence which Beji is being charged for is not a bailable offence but submitted further that the Judge could use his discretion on the matter as permissible by law.
The presiding judge, however ,adjourned the ruling on his bail application until Friday June 23 and therefore ordered he should be remanded in Minna till the adjourned date.
Meanwhile, he was formerly arraigned yesterday by the EFCC after being in custody for over two weeks in amended charges alongside former Governor Aliyu and his Chief of Staff , Umar Mohammed Nasko for a criminal breach of trust punishable under section 97 of the Penal Code Law of Niger State, Cap 94, Vol. 3 Laws of 1992.
The former governor in the amended charges is standing on a seven count of criminal breach of trust and abuse of office while the PDP chairman on two count charge of criminal breach of trust and abetting the commission of crime punishable under Sections 85 and 312 of the Penal Code of Niger state whereas Nasko on the other hand is standing trial on three count charges of criminal breach of trust and abuse of office.
When Justice Mayaki read the charges to the three accused persons ,they pleaded not guilty.