A Katsina State federal high court justice, Hadiza Shagari, has fixed a new date for further hearing on the trial of Ibrahim Shema, a former governor of the state following an application by the prosecuting lawyer.
In her ruling on Tuesday, December 8 following an application of the prosecuting counsel, Barrister Offot Uket, for an adjournment to allow him to make available some of the defendant’s statements in court, Shagari adjourned the case to February, 23 and 24, 2021, Naija News reports.
Naija News recalls that The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) dragged Shema and three others to court in 2017 on a 24 count charge of criminal breach of trust and forgery in the misappropriation of local government funds, to the tune of N11bn during his tenure.
However, at the resumed trial of the former governor yesterday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s witness, who is also the commission’s IPO on the lingering case, Abubakar Buba, noted before the court sitting that the Sure P department was a self-accounting department solely ran by the Special Adviser and Director Administration and Finance of the department and not Shema.
According to him, there was nowhere in his counter-affidavit on oath where he mentioned Shema or referred to him as the former governor in relations to the alleged offence.
Reacting to Buba’s claim, Shema’s lawyer, Sebastine Hon, SAN, however, asked; “Are you aware that the Attorney General of Katsina State is working in collaboration with the EFCC in investigating and prosecution of this case ?”
“Attorney General of Katsina State comes to EFCC office from time to time on this case,“ Buba responded.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Anti-Graft agency witness who revealed earlier in his evidence that the commission, at no time arrested or detained one Naheem Lawal, later admitted that EFCC arrested and detained him when confronted with a counter-affidavit he swore on oath to establish the fact.
Also, when asked by Hon on the issue of contract inflation, the EFCC witness said, “I didn’t mention that contract was inflated in any of my statements”.
In another news earlier, Naija News reports that East Carolina University has apologised to Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje over appointment controversy.