Nigeria news : Shema’s alleged N5.7bn SURE-P fraud What happened in court on Tuesday
The trial of former Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shehu Shema at the Federal High Court in Katsina, resumed on Tuesday.
Former Special Adviser to the state government on SURE P, who is also the EFCC star witness, Nasiru Salisu Ingawa, told the court during the cross examination that he has no proof or evidence that he gave any money from Sure P to Shema.
Shema was charged before the Federal High Court Katsina by EFCC on allegations of misappropriation of the sum of N5.7bn from SURE-P. He had since pleaded not guilty.
Ingawa had told the court that contracts at SURE-P were inflated and some programmes whose money were approved and released were not executed, but that he took the money to the defendant.
During the cross examination, the defence counsel, Sebastine Tar Hon (SAN), asked “Do you have any document or evidence as the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer of SURE P that you took any money to the defendant “.
The EFCC witness replied, “My lord I have no evidence that I took any money to the defendant”.
The witness also admitted that the oath of office he took includes convenant to uphold the constitution of the country and discharge his duties without fear or favour.
He admitted that proper bookkeeping and documentation of financial records were part of his duties.
When the witness was asked if there is anything to show from the payment vouchers he earlier tendered to the court that the contract sum during his tenure at SURE P were inflated, he said ” nothing to show”.
However, there was a mild drama during the proceeding of the court when the defence Counsel, S. T Hon (SAN) asked the prosecution counsel to tender Ingawa statements to the EFCC that were served as proof of evidence
The EFCC counsel, Mr. U. T. Uket told the court that he doesn’t have them.
The trial judge, Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari who frowned at the attitude of the prosecutor said, “In a criminal trial at anytime the prosecutor should always be ready to produce documents you filed before the court and served as proof of evidence.
“I don’t understand the way you want us to go on in this case, as a prosecutor delay is not supposed to come from you”.
The court adjourned the continuation of the trial to enable the prosecution counsel tender the witness statements needed by the defence Counsel.