Katsina Withdraws N11bn Suit against Ex-Gov Shema, ALGON Chairman
Francis Sardauna in Katsina
The Katsina State Government has withdrawn N11 billion corruption suit it filed against the state’s former Governor, Mr. Ibrahim Shehu Shema, and the former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Mr. Ibrahim Lawal Dankaba, before the State High Court.
The State Director of Public Prosecution, Mr. Abdulrahman Umar, disclosed to journalists on Monday night at the Government House that the suit against the two defendants has be withdrawn following a Nolle Prosqui filed by the state government before the court on Monday.
Shema was arraigned before late Justice Ibrahim Maikaita-Bako, at the State High Court 3 in 2016 for alleged offences of criminal breach of trust, forgery, abuse of office and conversion of public funds to the tune of over N11 billion while he was governor of the state.
Those joined in the suit were the former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Sani Hamisu Makana and former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Lawai Rufai.
But Shema, who served the state on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) between 2007 and 2015, pleaded not guilty to all the charges leveled against him by the Governor Aminu Bello Masari-led government.
Umar said during the media chat that the court accepted the Nolle Prosequi and discharged the erstwhile governor and Dankaba from all corruption charges instituted against them by the state government.
He, however, explained that the decision of the state government does not affect the N5.7 billion embezzlement suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Shema at the Federal High Court sitting in Katsina.
Umar said: “Today being Monday, the 13 of February, 2023, we were in High Court Number 3 where the trial of the former Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shehu Shema is being conducted.
“We went with a Nolle prosequi, which is a power of any state attorney-general to either institute an action or criminal case against any person in Nigeria before any court of law or take over any criminal proceedings against any person and as well as power to discontinue any case at any stage of the proceedings before judgment is entered.
“The attorney-general exercised that power and we went with it and the court gladly accepted that position of the attorney general to discontinue the case. To that effect, the former governor and Lawal Dankaba were discharged from all charges against them. That is the position of the state government at the moment but the EFCC’s case is still ongoing.”