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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 October 2006, 02:54 GMT 03:54 UK
Nigeria VP in the dock over graft
Nigerian Vice-President Atiku Abubakar
Atiku Abubakar helped thwart a third term for President Obasanjo
Nigeria's Vice-President Atiku Abubakar is to appear before a special court in Abuja to respond to corruption charges.

State prosecutors are trying him under Nigeria's code of conduct act. He denies allegations he diverted $125m into personal business interests.

He says his trial is part of a plot to prevent him running in the country's presidential elections due next April.

Mr Abubakar helped block President Olusegun Obasanjo changing the constitution and seeking a third term.

Early last week, the country's ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) suspended Mr Abubakar from its ranks, saying it found the corruption charges against the vice-president too embarrassing.

Mr Abubakar will remain in office, but his suspension means that he will not be eligible to seek the PDP's nomination for the presidential election.

So far the special court has failed to make any high-profile convictions.

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