By Ben Agande
Kaduna—The Appeal Court sitting in Kaduna, yesterday, held that a state government has the right to give a fiat to a federal agency to prosecute any individual for any offence.
In a unanimous judgment yesterday, the court, however, held that an accused person must be availed of documents to prepare for defense but noted that it was premature for former Katsina State governor, Ibrahim Shema, to file an objection when a plea had not be taken.
Shema had approached the Court of Appeal in Kaduna to stop his ongoing trial on grounds that he was not availed of documents pertaining to the petition against him.
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, had arraigned Shema and three others before Justice Maikaita Bako of the State High Court for allegedly defrauding the state of N11 billion during his eight years rule as governor.
Shema had, in previous sittings, argued through his counsel, J. B. Daudu, that he was not allowed access to “state facilities” that will accelerate fair hearing in the case.
He told the court that the trial in the lower court was vindictive and oppressive and capable of trampling on his rights.
Consequently, he requested the Appeal Court to dismiss the case at the Katsina State High Court.
In a unanimous judgment read by Justice H. A. Abiru, the court upheld the judgment of Katsina State High Court on the right of the Attorney-General of Katsina State to direct EFCC to prosecute the former governor.