Justice Hadiza Shagari of the Federal High Court, Katsina yesterday frowned at the lack of preparedness of the prosecution in the handling of the trial of the former governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shehu Shema.
The former governor was arraigned before the court last month and pleaded not guilty to the 26-count charge of alleged money laundering of Sure-P funds filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He was subsequently granted bail on the existing condition of self recognisance by the court.
At the last adjourned date, Justice Shagari had set yesterday for the commencement of trial, but as the trial began yesterday, with a witness, Nasiru Salisu Ingawa, testifying, counsel to the prosecution, Mr. U. Uket, interjected and prayed the court for an adjournment on the ground that some documents to be tendered before the court were not readily available.
Uket said, “My lord, at this point I think we have to apply for an adjournment to enable us put certain document we want to tender in proper shape. The documents have been certified but the person who certified it did not include his designation”.
The judged advised all the counsels that whenever they are coming for their case, they should come prepared.
He said, “Next time you are coming to my court, come prepared. If you are not ready, you should have told me. You had adequate time to prepare for this case between the last adjourned date and today (yesterday)”.
Ingawa, a former special adviser to ex-Governor Shema on SURE-P funds had told the court how the money was spent as Chief Executive Officer of the department.
He also told the court in his evidence that he was assigned some specific role as SSA which he carried out to the best of his ability.
Last month, the court began the trial of Dr. Shema afresh, following the transfer of the previous Judge handling the case and the transfer of Justice Shagari to the court.
The case has been further adjourned to January 14, 2019.
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