Former Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema, has questioned the jurisdiction of a State High Court to try him on charges of corruption.
The former governor questioned the jurisdiction of the court through his lawyer, Joseph Dawodu when he appeared before the court to answer charges of corruption filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
At the proceedings, Dawodu had told the court on the need to first hear the former governor’s application questioning the jurisdiction of the court before reading the charges filed by the anti-graft commission.
He also urged the court to allow the former governor to continue to enjoy the administrative bail granted him by the anti-graft commission since he has not been arraigned in court.
However, the prosecution counsel, J.S Okutepa, filed a counter affidavit in reply to the motion, asking that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody until the next adjourned date.
Okutepa told the court that the first accused person violated the terms of the administrative bail granted him by the EFCC.
But Daudu argued that since the court is yet to assume jurisdiction to hear the matter, such application should not have come up at this stage.
Justice Bako refused the prosecution application for remand and adjourned the matter to February 7, 2017, for hearing on the motions on notice after which the issue of arraignment would be determined.
Shema is being charged alongside three others, Sani Hamisu Makana, Lawal Ahmad Safana and Ibrahim Lawal Dankaba before Justice Maikaita Bako of the Katsina State High Court for the alleged offences of criminal breach of trust, abuse of office and conversion of public funds to the tune of over 11 billion Naira during his tenure as governor.
One of the charge read that “You Ibrahim Shehu Shema whilst being the Governor of Katsina, Sani Hamisu Makana whilst being Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Katsina State, Lawal Ahmad Safana whilst being the Permanent Secretary for Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs of Katsina State and Ibrahim Lawal Dankaba whilst being the Chairman Association of Local Government of Nigeria, Katsina State Chapter, between September 2012 and May 2015 at Katsina, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court were entrusted with certain property to wit; an aggregate sum of N4,463,600,000 (Four Billion, Four Hundred and Sixty Three Million, Six Hundred Thousand Nairn Only) committed a criminal breach of trust in respect of the said sum by transferring it from Katsina State Joint Local Government Account domiciled at Access Bank, Katsina Branch to the account of ALGON domiciled at Union Bank, Katsina Branch and subsequently withdrew same and dishonestly converted it to your personal use (under various guises including funding security intervention fund to all the 34 local governments in Katsina State and falsely described in several payment vouchers and memos) and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 311 and punishable under section 312 of Penal Code Cape 96 Laws of Katsina State, 1991.”