Justice Mai Kaita Bako, of the Katsina High Court, has fixed April 10, 11, 12, 2018 to continue the trial between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and former governor of Katsina state, Ibrahim Shema.
This comes after the Appeal Court sitting in Kaduna had trashed the application filed by the former governor to stop his ongoing trial by the Katsina State Government on grounds that he was not availed documents pertaining to the petition against him.
The court, however, admitted the right of an accused to be availed documents pertaining to charges against him but said, Shema’s application could not stand as it was filed prematurely and before a plea was taken.
Shema is being charged alongside three others, Sani Hamisu Makana, Lawal Ahmad Safana and Ibrahim Lawal Dankaba before Justice Maikaita Bako of the Katsina State High Court for the alleged offences of criminal breach of trust, abuse of office and conversion of public funds to the tune of over 11 billion Naira during his tenure as governor.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had on September 26, 2016, declared the former governor wanted for an alleged fraud amounting to 76 billion Naira.
The anti-graft agency said the decision was made because Mr Shema had ignored all invitations since 2015 to answer questions about the allegations made by the current governor of the state, Governor Aminu Masari.
The agency further added that the former Katsina governor is wanted for criminal conspiracy, inflation of contracts, abuse of office, diversion of funds and embezzlement, adding that all efforts to locate him has also proved unsuccessful.
But the incumbent governor of the state, Bello Masari is said to have been displeased with the handover note he received from his predecessor and thereafter set a panel to investigate the management of the state’s finances by Mr Shema, vowing to ensure that all stolen funds are returned to the government coffers.