The Katsina State High Court has adjourned the alledged N11 billion local government funds misappropriation case between ex-governor Shema, three others and EFCC to 15 and 16 October, 2018.
Shema along with the three others were arraigned on a 24-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust, criminal conspiracy, fraud and using forged documents.
Others being tried along with Shema were Hamisu Makana, a former commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Lawal Rufai, former permanent secretary in the ministry, and ex-ALGON chairman, Lawal Dankaba.
During the today’s court proceedings, a witness and former Auditor General of Katsina State, Ibrahim Dabo Bindawa told Justice Maikaita Ibrahim Bako that other vital documents his Committee attached to the report submitted to Governor Aminu Bello Masari that indicted Shema were not included in the report presented to the Court as exhibit.
The Prosecution witness who also served as the Chairman of the Investigative Committee that investigated the finances of the State and joint Local governments accounts under the administration of Former Governor Shema between January 2013 to May 2015 while under cross examination also told the Court that he is All Progressive Congress card carrying member and that he printed posters to contest for the office of Governor in 2015 against Governor Masari on the platform of the party before he decided to withdraw from the race.
When asked by the team of defence counsels led by J. B Dawodu (SAN) if he was aware of the contents of the State appropriation law between 2012 to 2015 before his Committee came up with the report that indicted Shema and his aides, he answered with affirmative no.
He also told the Court that his Committee was told by the State Government officials that payment vouchers relevant to the investigation are with EFCC but his Committee did not bother to write EFCC to request for the documents before coming up with its report.
“I said that some vouchers are with the the EFCC. The Director of Finance in the ministry of Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs did not give us the details of the vouchers.
“The vouchers with the EFCC are very important to our work. I did not write the EFCC to request for the vouchers”, he said.
He also told the court that in the course of their investigation, they never interviewed any of the defendant, adding that the committee only tried to reach one of them through a third party.
When asked, if he knew that Maigari Salihu and Farouk Lawan Jobe, who served as members the committee are now, Chairman, Local Government Services of Katsina State and Special Adviser to the governor of he state respecctively, the witness claimed ignorance of the development.
The trial that was meant to last for two days was however adjourned by Justice Bako till October 15 and 16 at the request of the prosecution counse on the premises that the prosecution next witness is ill and needed urgent medical attention abroad, the application which was not opposed by the defence cousel.