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Published On: Tue, Nov 13th, 2018

Shema’s trial: I wrote my statement under duress, defendant tells court

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By Vivian Okejeme Abuja

Alhaji Ibrahim Dantana, a defendant in the trial of former Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema of Katsina state, yesterday, told Justice Maikaita Bako of the state high court that his statement to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, during interrogation was obtained under duress.
The testified, a 4th defendant in the trial, through his counsel, Aliyu Ahmed, informed the court that the commission obtained his statement under duress while the prosecution was applying to the court to tender his statement as evidence.
EFCC through its counsel, Mr. U. Uket, had sought to tender Dankaba’s statement to the commission as evidence, but after being shown the statement, he objected to it and told the court through Mr. Ahmed that he gave the statement under duress.
His counsel, therefore, prayed the court for trial-within-trial to be conducted to ascertain whether or not the statement was obtained under duress.
Uket, in his response to the application for a trial-within-trial by the defendant did not object to it.
The prosecution witness of the EFCC, Abubakar Buba, had earlier told the court that Dankaba made the statement voluntarily.
He also said the 3rd defendant in the matter, Alhaji Lawal Satan’s, who was interrogated on the 6th and 7th of August 2015, was fully cautioned before making the statement.
Before the witness stepped into the witness box to give his evidence in the matter, the court had earlier in a ruling admitted some documents which include bank statements as evidence in the matter.
At the last adjourned date, the witness had told the court that one of the petitions which formed the basis of EFCC investigation of former Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shehu Shema and three officials of his administration that were charged before the court, was written by fictitious names without traceable address.
Abubakar, who introduced himself as Senior Detective Superintendent at the EFCC in his testimony before the Katsina State HighCourt said the name of the Association that wrote the first petition is Katsina Initiative and Sustainable Development but the Organisation was not registered neither does it has any traceable address.
He said the petition dated August 12th, 2014 was sent to the commission and all efforts by the team of EFCC investigation to identify and trace the petitioners proved abortive.
The second petition according to him was dated June 23, 2015 and was written by one Ahmed Fatima Jibo, on behalf of Katsina State Ministry of Justice.
He said the petitioner gave the names of some officials of the State government to EFCC for investigation.
The trial which involves former Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema, and former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs, Sani Makana, former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs, Lawal Safana and former Katsina State ALGON chairman, Ibrahim Dankaba, has been was adjourned to November 28, 2018 by the trial judge.

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