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Published On: Wed, May 30th, 2018

Alleged N11bn fraud: Late receipt of report stalls Shema’s trial

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From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua Katsina

Katsina High Court has fixed June 12, to allow the defense counsels
study report of the Committee on Local Government Finances which
indicted ex-governor Ibrahim Shema of
misappropriating about N11 billion during his tenure.

At the resumed court hearing Wednesday  in Katsina, the  lead defense
counsel, Joseph Daudu, SAN, told the court that they want to see the
court follow due process.

He said during the last adjournment, the complainants asked for
adjournment to enable them present the report of the committee set up
by the Katsina Government to investigate Local Governments Finances as
evidence against Shema and three others.

Daudu said that since then  they did not  hear from them until May 28,
2018, which
was a public holiday.

He explained that their expectation was that they would be served with
the report in good time, go through it and compare it with the one
before the commission of inquiry.

He urged the court to give them adequate time to allow them go through
the report.

In his submission, the prosecution counsel, Olatoke Olukayode, SAN,
argued that the report has been submitted to the commission of inquiry
and its copy was served to the accused.

‘’Last time I applied for adjournment when they said they don’t have
copy of the report, by that, they are aware that report will form part
of the prosecution,’’ he said.

Olukayode further said that document is not a motion that would
entitled them to react within 48 hours.

He also said that public holiday would not affect reading of public
document anyway.

Olukayode urged the court to refuse the application and allow the
witness to present evidence.

In his ruling, Justice Ibrahim Maikaita Bako, adjourned the case to
June 12, 2018 to allow the defense counsels go through the report
before the prosecution present their witnesses.

Other defendants in the case were the former Commissioner for Local
Government Affairs, Sani Makana, former Permanent Secretary, Ministry
for Local Government Affairs, Lawal Rufai and the ex-ALGON Chairman,
Lawal Dankaba.



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