A Katsina High Court yesterday fixed hearing in the charges against former governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema, and three others over allegation of about N11 billion fraud for 10th to 12th April, this year.
The move followed Supreme Court’s decision which mandated the accused including Hamisu Makana, the former commissioner for Local Government Affairs; Ahmed Rufai Safana, former permanent secretary in the ministry; and Ibrahim Lawal Dankaba, former chairman of the state chapter of Association of Local Governments in Nigeria (ALGON) to submit themselves for trial at the Katsina High Court contrary to Shema’s push for the case to be thrown out of the high court for lack of jurisdiction and rights violation.
The trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Maikaita Bako, adjourned the case yesterday for hearing in a pending motion and substantive case filed by the Katsina State Government and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the defendants.
Shema and other accused persons, who are out on bail, had denied the charges before heading to the Court of Appeal and the apex court respectively for the enforcement of their fundamental rights.
The state and EFCC lawyers, led by Katsina Attorney General, Ahmed Usman El-marzuq, and Sam Ologunorisa (SAN) at yesterday’s sitting sought leave of the court to move the motion filed on 24th March 2017, and amend the charges against the defendants.
Moving the motion, Ologunorisa (SAN) told the court that the grounds for the application were spelt out in the body of the motion supported by 11 paragraph affidavit deposed to by one M. S. Abubakar.
Defence counsel led by Joseph B. Dauda opposed the application on the ground that the seal of the deponent was not on the motion and sought for the adjournment of the case.
Ruling on the argument and counter stance of both parties, after about 10 minutes stand down, Justice Bako held that the prosecution could comply with the request of the defence counsel immediately following which Ologunorisa (SAN) also withdrew prayer three in their application and Daudu (SAN) had no objection.
Consequently, Justice Bako struck out the said prayer in paragraph three of the motion and fixed the matter for hearing.