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Published On: Wed, Nov 27th, 2019

SURE-P fund: I’ve no evidence I took money to Gov. Shema – EFCC witness

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By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja

A prosecution witness in the trial of the former Governor of Kastina State, Ibrahim Shema, yesterday, failed to prove that he gave any money from Sure P to Shema.
The prosecution star witness, Nasiru Salisu Ingawa,for is also a former Special Adviser to the Government on SURE P, during
cross examination, said that he has no proof or evidence that he gave any money from Sure P to the former governor.
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC is prosecuting Shema over alleged misappropriation of the sum of N5.7bn from Sure P.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
At the last adjourned date, the witness, had in his evidence in chief, told the court that contracts at Sure P were inflated and some programmes whose money were approved and released were not executed, but he took the money to the defendant.
However, under cross examination, by the defence counsel, Sabastine Tar Hon SAN, yesterday, the witness could provide proof to substantiate his claims.
Ehen asked, “do you have any document or evidence as the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer of Sure P, that you took any money to the defendant,’’ the EFCC witness said, “my lord I have no evidence that I took any money to the defendant”.
The witness also admitted that from the oat of office he took includes convenant to uphold the constitution of the country and discharge his duties without fear, he also admitted that proper book keeping and documentation of financial records were part of his duties.
Hon SAN, pointed to the witness that in all the statements he made to the ICPC and EFCC there is no where he mentioned he took money to the defendant which is contrary to his statements when he was led in evidence in chief, the witness said it is correct.

On if there is anything to show from the payment vouchers he earlier tendered to the court that the contract sum during his tenure at Sure P were inflated, he said “ nothing to show”.
Meanwhile the EFCC counsel, Mr. U. T. Uket, could not tender to the court the witness’s statements to the EFCC that were served in the proof of evidence.
He argued that the defence ought to have given adequate notice on the documents needed for them to bring such to the court.
In the bench ruling, Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari, warned that “ in a criminal trial at any time the prosecutor should always be ready to produce documents you served as proof of evidence.
‘’I don’t understand the way you want us to go on in this case, as a prosecutor delay is not supposed to come from you”.
The judge ordered the prosecution to ender the documents needed by the documents defence counsel on the next adjourned date.
The matter continues today, November 27.

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