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Court Orders ex-govrrnor of Katsina to face Trial

The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed the
judgment of Court of Appeal, Kaduna,
which authorised the trial of ex-governor of
Katsina State,
Ibrahim Shema, on allegation of N11
billion fraud.
Shema, who was governor of the state
between 2007 and 2011 on the platform of
the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is
been tried along side, Sani Makana, Lawal
Safana and Ibrahim Dankaba.
Delivering ruling on the interlocutory
application, a full panel of the court led by
Justice Sidi Bage, held that the
Constitution empowered the EFCC to
prosecute suspects of graft allegations at
federal and state levels.
Bage also held that evidence placed before
the apex court had shown that the
respondent (EFCC), front-loaded necessary
documents along with the charge sheet to
the applicants to prepare their defence.
“The action of the ex-governor and the
three other applicants cannot tempt the
court to over-rule itself.
“The apex court took time to explain the
powers of the EFCC to work within both
federal laws and penal codes of states in
ex-governors’ Joshua Dariye and Jolly
Nyame similar applications.
“The full strength of the court met over this
application and we have resolved not to
over-rule ourselves on application that is
clearly meritorious
“In the circumstance, the application is
dismissed on the grounds that the EFCC
has the powers to prosecute anybody found
to have committed fraud in any part of the
country.
“The panel therefore affirms the judgment
of the Appeal Court, Kaduna, delivered on
Sept.13, 2017, which mandated the
applicants to submit themselves to trial at
the High Court of Katsina’’, he said.
EFCC had arraigned Shema and the three
others before Justice Maikaita Bako of the
state high court for allegedly defrauding
the state during his eight years as
governor.
The applicants had approached the apex
court asking it to set aside the decisions of
the lower courts.
They had challenged the jurisdiction of the
trial court and the acclaimed lack of
powers of the EFCC to prosecute them for
alleged offences committed in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), recalls
that the trial court had fixed Feb. 13 for
parties to report to it on the outcome of the
Supreme Court decision.

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