By Amen Gajira
#TrackNigeria: The Peoples Democratic Party PDP (PDP) in Niger has flayed the change of the trial judge handling the corruption case against its governorship candidate, Umar Nasko.
Nasko is standing trial alongside former governor Mu’azu Aliyu and the state PDP chairman, Tanko Beji over alleged N4.568 billion fraud bordering on diversion of ecological funds.
The case was initially handled by Justice Aliyu Mayaki and adjourned until March 4.
It has, however, been re-assigned to the state high court under Justice Mohammed Mohammed and the case will now come up on Thursday for continuation.
The PDP in a statement signed by the Director of Communications of the Nasko Campaign Organisation, Yahaya Usman, described the development as“ a calculated attempt to pervert the course of Justice”
“The plan is to use the courts to re-enact, re-start afresh the ongoing trial of Dr Mu’azu Aliyu, Umar Nasko, Tanko Beji, and a few other PDP leaders, which has been on since 2016″
Usman also expressed concerns over the shift in the date for continuation of the case, adding that the plan was to re-arraign its candidate and others and deny them bail until after the elections.
“With Justice Maiyaki out and a new Judge in, the plan now is to re-arraign/arraign the three and then issue difficult bail conditions even though they are on bail and have never breached it.
“Then they will be detained from that February 14th till the elections, which will be held on the 16th of February and 2nd of March, are over.”
Mr Jonathan Vatsa, the chairman of the Media and Publicity Committee of the Gov. Abubakar Bello campaign organisation, in a reaction, distanced the state government from the issue.
“We also call on all the people of the state to stand against injustice, abuse and politicising of the Judiciary. We have not been involved in this case since it started, we cannot now be involved
“The PDP should stop chasing shadows, it should not hang its problem on the APC
“Our major preoccupation now is the campaign for the re-election of President Muhammad Buhari, governor Abubakar Bello and all other APC candidates.
“We will not allow ourselves to be distracted,” he added. (NAN)