N5.7bn Sure-P fraud: “How contracts were reportedly inflated, monies taken to Shema’s in cash”
N5.7bn Sure-P fraud: “How contracts were inflated, monies taken to Shema’s in cash”
A Federal High Court sitting in Katsina was on Monday told how various sums on monies from non-executed, partially executed and inflated contracts were taken to the former governor of Katsina state, Ibrahim Shema, in cash.
Shema is facing 26-count charges in a case filed by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) before the court over alleged misappropriation of about N5.7billion Subsidy Reinvestment program (SURE-P) funds belonging to the state.
At the resumed hearing today, EFCC’s principal witness and former Special Adviser and Personal Assistant to Shema on SURE-P, Nasir Ingawa, told the court that on several occasions payment vouchers were raised on the directives of Shema for contracts and programme and were not executed nor implemented.
He said, “some of the programmes were inflated on his directives of between 20-30 percent and the proceeds therein I take to him in cash.”
“Shema sometimes authorizes and directs me to inflate it, I personally take the monies to him in cash. Some of the projects were never executed,” he said.
Ingawa, who was being guided through the proceedings by the EFCC’s counsel, S.T. Ologunorisa SAN, said vouchers are raised for projects that are even completed but inflated at times.
“Shema asks me to give the money to Idris Kwado through one of his boys Naeem,” he added.
Shema’s counsel, Elisha Kurah SAN could not, however, cross-examine the witness on the ground that he is yet to get the documents tendered before which could have been the basis of his cross-examination.
He, therefore, seek for adjournment which was not objected by the prosecuting counsel.
The presiding Judge, Justice Hadiza Shagari, then adjourned the matter to February 25, for continuation.
It will be recalled that Shema has since pleaded not guilty to all the 26-count charge that bothers on an unlawful act to wit fraud contrary to section 15 subsection (2d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same act.