Katsina: Masari withdraws N11bn fraud case against predecessor, Shema
Former Katsina governor, Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State has been freed of allegation of misappropriation of N11 billion belonging to Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) levelled against him by the administration of his successor, Aminu Masari.
The Masari administration had one year after it assumed office dragged Shema and others to court over the alleged misappropriation of the ALGON funds.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC had also levelled similar allegation aginst the former governor in a suit that is ongoing.
But Malam Abdulrahman Umar, Katsina Director public prosecution told journalists on Monday that the state government is no longer interested in the prosecution of the former governor over the alleged misappropriation.
But he did not give any reason for the action.
“The state government filed a nolle prosecute. This is the power of a state attorney-general under Section 211 of the 1999 constitution as (amended), to either institute an action on a criminal case against any person before any court of law.
“The attorney-general can take over any criminal proceedings against any person, as well as power to discontinue with any case at any stage of the proceeding before judgment is entered.
“The attorney-general exercised that power and we went with it and the court gladly accepted that position of the attorney general to discontinue with the case.
“To that effect, the former governor and Lawal Dankaba were discharged from all charges against them.
“That is the position of the state government at the moment.
“But the EFCC’s case is still ongoing” Umar said.
Shema pleaded not guilty to 24-count charge filed against him by the EFCC.
The anti-graft agency had instituted the charge against him, which bordered on criminal breach of trust, fraud, conspiracy and forgery, among others.
Shema is standing trial with three others who were members of his administration while he was governor.
They include Lawal Safana, Ibrahim Dankaba and Sani Makana who were alleged to have diverted local government funds amounting to over N11 billion.