Francis Sardauna in Katsina
The Katsina State High Court is to commence ruling on the matter brought before it by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over alleged money laundering levelled against the former Governor of the state, Ibrahim Shehu Shema, to the tune of N11 billion on July 9 and 10, 2018.
The presiding Judge of the Court, Justice Ibrahim Maikaita, reserved the ruling on the issue yesterday after intense arguments by the legal teams of the EFCC and that of the former governor and three others.
During the proceedings, a witness in the case who is the state’s former Auditor-General, Ibrahim Dabo, was called to the witness box to give evidence.
However, the EFCC lead Counsel, Sam Ologunorisa SAN inquired whether Dabo was given an appointment letter to serve as Chairman of the Investigative panel set up by Governor Aminu Masari to probe the finances of local government councils in the state and that of State Universal Basic Education Board.
But Dabo answered the question in affirmative by producing the letter which was tendered to the court as exhibit and his EFCC statement to court.
Meanwhile, Shema’s lead counsel, Joseph Daudu, SAN and that of other three accused asked the court not to recognise Dabo’s documents including the letter appointing him as the Chairman of the Investigative panel that probe the finances of local government areas in the state.
Daudu, who enumerated several portions of the Evidence Act, told the court that it was Dabo’s oral evidence that should be admitted.
Justice Maikata, however overruled their objections and allowed Dabo to read his EFCC statement to the court.
It was a dramatic proceedings when Ologunorisa SAN, sought to tender the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the report of the Commission of inquiry set up by Katsina State Government on Shema’s administration as further evidence against the accused.
The plea that Daudu objected and insisted that the report was also the work of other people rather than that of Dabo who was its chairman. He alleged that no evidence was attached to the report urging the court to reject the report.
Ologunorisa admonished the court to overrule the defence counsel’s objection to the admission of the report as further evidence.
After listening to both parties, Justice Maikata adjourned ruling to July 9 and 10, July, 2018, promising to commence trial immediately after the ruling.