Shema, former Katsina governor, weeps as EFCC rearrests him

Shema, former Katsina governor, weeps as EFCC rearrests him

Ibrahim Shema, former governor of Katsina State, broke down in tears on Tuesday after operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) rearrested him.

Shema who initially resisted the attempt to arrest him at a Katsina high court where he was arraigned, is standing a 22-count charge bordering on alleged criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of public funds.

There was a mild drama when he protested being humiliated publicly, but he had no choice than to surrender to the security agency after one hour.

In September, EFCC declared him wanted for allegedly refusing to honour its invitation but the former governor denied the allegations of corruption levelled against him, accusing Bello Masari, his successor, of witch-hunting him.

Meanwhile, Justice Ibrahim Bako of the Katsina High Court, has fixed Feb. 21, for ruling on whether the court has jurisdiction to try the suit filed by the EFCC against the former Katsina State governor.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Shema was arraigned by the EFCC before the court for alleged financial misappropriation during his tenure.

Shema was arraigned together with a former commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Sani Makana, a former ALGON Chairman, Lawal Dankaba and former permanent secretary, Lawal Safana.

The defence counsel, Joseph Daudu, SAN, has earlier filed a motion in the last sitting challenging the jurisdiction of the court to try his client.

During Tuesday’s proceedings, he raised same issues, saying that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain the case because the charge was filed by a Federal Government agency.

“It is a serious constitutional problem for a federal government agency to take over the state in prosecution of criminal cases,’’ he contended, and prayed the court to strike out the case for want of competence.

Daudu also filed another application seeking the court to restrain the EFCC from further arresting of his client.

However, the prosecution counsel, Mr Lateef Fagbemi, argued that the EFCC has right to try the case before the court.

He said that EFCC was a coordinating agency saddled with responsibility of investigation, enforcement and prosecution of matters relating to alleged financial crimes.

The Judge adjourned the case to Feb. 21, for ruling on the issue of jurisdiction raised by the defence.

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