Alleged N11bn fraud: Court accepts witness’s report against ex-Katsina gov, Shema

 
Tue Jul 10th, 2018 - Katsina
 

By Bashir Bello

KATSINA—The Katsina State High Court, yesterday accepted report and document presented before it by principal witness as evidence against the former Governor, Ibrahim Shehu Shema and three others over alleged misappropriation of N11 billion Association of Local Government, ALGON funds during his administration.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has dragged Shema and three others, former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Sani Makana, former Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Local Government, Lawal Rufai and the state’s ALGON former Chairman, Lawal Dankaban before the court for alleged financial misappropriation of about N11 billion while in government.

The presiding judge, Justice Ibrahim Bako Maikata ruled that the report of the Ibrahim Dabo led Investigative panel that probed the finances of local government areas in the state should be admitted as exhibit before the Court and that no evidence showed that the report was that of the Commission of Inquiry set up by the state government.

At the last sitting, the Defence counsel, Joseph B. Daudu, SAN urged the Court not to accept the document as evidence on the ground showed that it was a report of the commission of inquiry and witness could not claim ownership of the report.

During yesterday’s sitting after Justice Maikata’s ruled to accept the document, Dabo was called to the witness box where he gave evidences and alleged that N10.9 billion was illegally transferred to ALGON coffers from the state/local government joint accounts from January 2003 to May 2015 during Shema’s regime.

Shema’s lead counsel, Daudu, however told Dabo that the law which he based his allegation, had expired, citing several legal instances.

He added while cross examining Dabo that there was no memo to back the claim that the poverty alleviation items purported to have been purchased with part of the said money were exclusively given to PDP members.

Counsel to other accused persons equally faulted Dabo’s submission before the court.

The case was however adjourned to 15th and 16th, October, 2018 on the request of the EFCC lead counsel, Sam Ologunorisa SAN who told the court that one of his witnesses was ill and needed to be flown abroad for treatment.

The presiding Judge, Justice Maikaita however adjourned the court sitting till 15th and 16th, October after both sides consulted and agreed on dates.

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source: Vanguard