As we reported to you earlier that the Katsina High Court will today resume sitting in a case between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and former Katsina State Governor Ibrahim Shema alongside three others, namely Sani Hamisu Makana, Lawal Ahmad Safana and Ibrahim Lawal Dankaba.
It could be recalled that the EFCC had since February 21st, 2017 draggedShema and the three others before the court on a 22-count charge of criminal breach of trust and forgery amounting to N11 billion.
The court had suspended hearing after an application filed by Shema’s counsel challenging the jurisdiction of the court after the Court of Appeal sitting in Kaduna which moved up to the Supreme Court that ruled otherwise.
During the court’s last sitting on February 13, 2018, it fixed April 10,11 and 12 for hearing on the substantive motion filed by the EFCC against the accused persons.
Bellow is a LIVE UPDATE on what is happening in the courtroom:
At 8:50 am – Shema and his entourage arrived the court premises
In his entourage are 11 Lawyers (Most of whom are SANs), PDP chieftains
At 9:00 am – Judge Maikaita arrived
9:05 am – Lawyers introduced themselves to the Judge
About 10 lawyers are representing the Katsina State Government and EFCC
9:15 am – EFCC lawyer informed the judge and the gathering that they came for the continuation of the trial of which they are accusing the Katsina former Governor and three (3) others of N11bn fraud.
9:20 am – Court read all the charges brought to it against Shema and 3 others which they all denied
10:00 am – 11 charges were read to the accused and they all rejected it
10: 05 am – We are waiting for the court’s judge next move
10: 15 am – Charges to the accused now reached 13
10:20 am – Charges to the accused now reached 14
All those accused are still standing in the courtroom
10:25 am – Charges to the accused now reached 16
In summary, the charges are classified into two:
- Amount of money allegedly withdrawn from the government purse and date.
- Letters allegedly written by the then Governor and his accomplices to that effect.
10:35 am – We are waiting for the court’s judge next move
10: 50 am – All the accused including the State’s former Governor for 8 years, Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu Shema are still standing
10: 55 am – The charges read to the accused are now 24 and complete.
10: 58 am – The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
10: 59 am – The Judge asked all the lawyers if they are ready for the court proceedings and they all answered to be ready
11:00 am – After almost 2 hours, those accused (Katsina Ex-Governor and 3 others) were allowed to sit down.
11:05 am – Judge ordered all witnesses that were brought to testify before the court to go out and enters one-by-one.
11:10 am – Lawyers defending Katsina Ex-Governor Shema led by Dauda J. B. demanded the court to tell them the names of the witnesses that will testify against their client so as to prepare what they will ask them.
11:15 am – Court went for a short recess.
11:30 am – Court resumed from recess.
11:35 am – The First witness named Ibrahim Dabo entered the court and began to testify against the accused.
Ibrahim Dabo Bujawa is an indegen of Katsina State, residing in Katsina metropolis and a retired Auditor General in 2004.
Ibrahim Dabo Bujawa 68 years-old.
11:45 am – Ibrahim Dabo Bujawa took time to inform the court about his experience as the State Auditor General, his knowledge about Local Governments and how they operate and their relationship with the State Government as well as the State Governor.
12:00 pm – Ibrahim Dabo Bujawa still answering questions from the lawyers of the prosecutors (EFCC and Katsina State Government).
12:15 pm – Ibrahim Dabo Bujawa still answering questions from the lawyers of the prosecutors (EFCC and Katsina State Government).
REMEMBER: Those accused by the EFCC and the Katsina State government for the embezzlement of about N11 billion Naira are:
- Barrister Ibrahim Shema
- Ibrahim Lawal Dankaba
- Hamisu Makana
- Lawal Rufa’i
12:20 pm – A mild argument ensured between the lawyers of accused and the prosecutors over a question thrown to the witness.
Prosecuting (EFCC) lawyer withdrew the question he thrown to the witness after it was challenged by the accused lawyer.
12:30 pm – Prosecuting (EFCC) lawyers demanded the adjournment of today’s trial
12:35 pm – Court adjourned the trial to 30th and 31st May 2018