Tuesday 10 April 2018

Court fixes May 30 for continuation Ex-Governor Shema’s N11 billion fraud trial

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A Katsina State High Court on Tuesday fixed May 30, for continuation of hearing into the case of alleged financial misappropriation against former Katsina state governor, Ibrahim Shema, and three others.

Shema along with the three others were arraigned on a 24-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust, criminal conspiracy, fraud and using forged documents.

The prosecution had said that the alleged offences were contrary to sections 96, 311, 363, 366 and 85 of the Penal Code, cap 96 Laws of Katsina State 1991.

The EFCC dragged Shema, and his former aides to the court over alleged misappropriation of about N11 billion belonging to local governments in the state.

The EFCC had said that it took the step following a petition presented by Katsina State Government to the commission on the issue.

Others being tried along with Shema were Hamisu Makana, a former commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Lawal Rufai, former permanent secretary in the ministry, and ex-ALGON chairman, Lawal Dankaba.

All the four had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

After taking their plea, the prosecution and defence counsels told the court that they were ready for the trial.

The prosecution counsel, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, presented a witness, the former Auditor-General of the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Dabo, who retired in 2004.

Dabo told the court that he was appointed by the state government to head a committee that investigated the finances of the 34 local government councils during the tenure of former governor Shema.

When Fagbemi asked Dabo to explain his committee findings to the court, the defence counsel, Joseph Daudu, SAN, argued that such report should be formally presented, instead of orally.

The witness consequently greed to present the committees report, if given time to do so.

The prosecution counsel then asked for adjournment to enable the witness testify properly.

The judge, Justice Ibrahim Maikaita, adjourned the case to May 30, for continuation of hearing.

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