A Federal High Court in Katsina State, presided over by Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari, on Tuesday adjourned the trial of ex-Governor Shehu Shema on alleged misappropriation of N5.7billion Sure P till February.
At the resumption of trial, an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) witness, Mr. Abubakar Buba, who is also the EFCC /IPO on the matter, told the court that the Sure P department is a self-accounting department run by the special adviser and director, Administration and Finance of the department and not by ex-Governor Shema.
Under cross examination, the EFCC witness told the court that nowhere in his counter affidavit on oath did he mention Ibrahim Shehu Shema or even referred to him as the former governor in relation to the alleged offence.
When asked by Shema’s lawyer, S. T. Hon (SAN), whether he is aware that the Attorney-General of Katsina State is working in collaboration with the EFCC in the investigation and prosecution of the case, he acknowledged that the Attorney- General comes often to EFCC office from time to time on this case.
The EFCC witness/ IPO had told the court that the acknowledgement notes for receipt of money by Naeem Lawal from the Director of Admin and Finance of Sure P, Abdulaziz Shinkafi, were recovered from him, while Shinkafi in his statement attached to the proof of evidence to the court said he handed over the acknowledgement notes of receipt to the Attorney-General not the EFCC.
Also, the EFCC witness who had earlier stated in his evidence that the EFCC had at no time arrested or detained Lawal, later admitted that the agency arrested and detained him when confronted with counter affidavit he swore on oath to establish the fact that his earlier statement was false.
On the issue of contract inflation, the EFCC witness said: “I didn’t mention that contract was inflated in any of my statements.”
The case was adjourned till February 23 and 24, following the application by the prosecution counsel, U. I. Uket, to enable him produce some of the defendant’s statements, which he said he had forgotten to bring to court.