BEVERLY HILLS, January 26, (THEWILL) – The Supreme Court, on Friday, affirmed the judgment of Court of Appeal, Kaduna, which authorised the trial of ex-governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema who is standing trial for an alleged N11 billion fraud.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Shema along with Sani Makana, Lawal Safana and Ibrahim Dankaba before Justice Maikaita Bako of the state High Court for allegedly defrauding the state during his eight years stint as governor.
The defendants had approached the Apex Court to set aside the decisions of the lower courts which favoured the anti-graft commission.
Delivering judgement on the interlocutory Application filed by the accused persons, Justice Sidi Bage held that the constitution empowered the EFCC to prosecute suspects on graft allegations at federal and state levels.
Justice Bage added that evidence placed before the apex court had shown that the EFCC front-loaded necessary documents along with the charge sheet to the applicants to prepare their defence.
“The action of the ex-governor and the three other applicants cannot tempt the court to over-rule itself,” Justice Bage stated.
“The apex court took time to explain the powers of the EFCC to work within both federal laws and penal codes of states in ex-governors’ Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame similar applications.
“The full strength of the court met over this application and we have resolved not to over-rule ourselves on application that is clearly meritorious
“In the circumstance, the application is dismissed on the grounds that the EFCC has the powers to prosecute anybody found to have committed fraud in any part of the country.
“The panel therefore affirms the judgment of the Appeal Court, Kaduna, delivered on September 13, 2017, which mandated the applicants to submit themselves to trial at the High Court of Katsina.”