Wanted ex-Governor Ibrahim Shema hands self over to EFCC - EazyFeeds

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Saturday 17 September 2016

Wanted ex-Governor Ibrahim Shema hands self over to EFCC

Shema, the immediate past governor of Katsina State, who was declared want­ed on Wednesday for alleged fraud, has reportedly turned himself in to the Eco­nomic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) early morning of yesterday.

The spokesman to Shema, Mr. Oluwabusola Olawale in a confirmatory statement stated that the former governor arrived at the EFCC headquarters at aboiut 9:30 a.m. Friday, two days after he was declared wanted by the anti-graft agency.

It is not immediately clear if Mr. Shema turned himself in to authorities in the company of his lawyers led by former president of the Nigeria Bar Associa­tion (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Shema’s aide stated that his princi­pal took the step of moving to the EFCC because “he’s a law abiding citizen who has absolutely nothing to fear.”

According to him, the former governor “went to submit himself to the EFCC even though the agency has not been fair to him in han­dling his case”.

Shema was declared wanted on the night of two days ago amid allegations that he committed offenses such as “criminal conspir­acy, inflation of contract, abuse of office, diversion of funds and embezzlement running into billions of na­ira”.

The EFCC claimed that the former governor, a top member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was declared want­ed after efforts to get him to respond to the allegations through invitations by the EFCC failed.

But Shema had stoutly denied the claim. He stated that at the time EFCC invit­ed him, he went there and was told the Investigating operative was on another as­signment and that at no time afterwards did EFCC invite him and he failed to honour such invitation, describing the actions of the anti-graft body as embarrassing and a smear media trial campaign.

EFCC sources had claimed that Shema alleg­edly stole about N18 bil­lion from the Katsina State Government coffers and di­verted same into his private accounts for undisclosed reasons.

The officials said he cor­nered local governments monthly allocation accounts which was constitutional­ly being jointly run through the State/Local Government Joint Account, and that he left a little sum of money for developmental projects and clearance of local gov­ernment employees’ wages and salaries.

In the process, the sum of N50 billion was believed to have been mismanaged, leading to the EFCC inqui­sition.

But Mr. Olawale denied the graft charges and said his principal had on June 28 visited the EFCC office and “was told to come back later because the officials in charge were on other assign­ment.”

“After that, he also wrote them through his lawyers for a new date but had yet to respond. We also took letters to their office which they de­clined to collect.”

“All these are political­ly-motivated attacks aimed at rubbishing a man who served the people of Katsi­na well throughout his ten­ure,” Olawale stated.

“He didn’t only clear all the state’s debts, he also left a robust treasury for the in­coming government.”

The EFCC spokesper­son, Wilson Uwujaren, is yet to respond on the latest development even after sev­eral enquiries.

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