High profile corruption: How ex-Gov Shema allegedly defrauded Nigerians of N16.7b
Also, ex-Minister Akinjide in N650m racketeering
In our review of high-profile corruption trials today, the former Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shehu Shema, was arraigned over alleged N11 billion and N5.7 billion fraud alongside three other accused persons.
Also, a former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Chief Jumoke Akinjide, was charged for N650 million alleged money laundering.
Ibrahim Shehu Shema – N11 billion and N5.7 billion fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on April 10, 2018 re-arraigned a former Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shehu Shema, alongside three others before Justice Maikaita Bako of the Katsina State High Court on a 24-count amended charge.
Others charged alongside Shema, are Sani Hamisu Makana, former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Lawal Ahmad Rufai, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government Affairs and Ibrahim Lawal Dankaba, Chairman Association of Local Government of Nigeria, (ALGON) Katsina Branch.
On the last adjourned date, the prosecution informed the court of its victory at the Supreme Court which dismissed the application of the former governor and his co-accused to stop their trial.
At the resumed hearing, the amended charge was read to the accused persons and they all entered a plea of not guilty.
In view of their plea, the prosecution counsel, Sam Ologunorisa, SAN, informed the court of his readiness to proceed to trial.
Following no objection from the counsel representing the accused persons, the first prosecution witness, Ibrahim Dabo Bujawa, entered the witness box.
It could be recalled that the Supreme Court on January 26, 2018, upheld the 22-count corruption charges on alleged complicity in the illegal diversion of public funds to the tune of N11 billion against the former governor of Katsina State.
In a unanimous judgment, Justice Sidi Bage held that the charges by EFCC were competent, adding that the anti-graft agency was empowered by its Establishment Act to investigate and prosecute any person accused of corruption.
Shema was also arraigned on April 27, 2018 before a Federal High Court over alleged misappropriation of another N5.7 billion under the then Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P), but his aide insisted his trial was politically motivated.
The trial on the N11 billion case which was meant to last two days in July 2018 was, however, adjourned to October 15 and 16, 2018, at the request of the prosecution which claimed that the second prosecution witness was ill and needed urgent medical attention abroad.
The case has been undergoing trial within trial while the main trial is underway.
Jumoke Akinjide – N650 million money laundering
Chief Jumoke Akinjide is a former Minister of Federal Capital Territory who was charged for N650 million alleged money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
On January 16, 2018, the EFCC re-arraigned Akinjide on 24 counts charge before a Federal High Court in Lagos for the alleged offence.
The former minister had been arraigned before an Oyo division of the Federal High Court before the case was transferred to Lagos Division.
She was charged by the EFCC alongside a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke. Others named in the charge are Senator Ayo Adeseun and a Chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olarenwaju Otiti.
The defendants allegedly received the money from Mrs. Alison-Madueke in the build-up to the 2015 general election.
In June, 2017, the EFCC arraigned the defendants before Justice Joyce Abdulmalik sitting at the Federal High Court in Ibadan but the case was transferred to Lagos and this necessitated the re-arraignment in 2018.
According to the charge, the defendants were alleged to have received some money from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.
The money was said to be part of $115 million allegedly disbursed by Alison-Madueke to influence the outcome of the year’s presidential election.
At the resumed proceedings, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacob, informed the court of 24 amended count charges proferred against the defendants and urged the court to take the fresh plea of the defendants.
This was granted and trials are ongoing.
High profile corruption: How Major Gen. Atewe allegedly stole N8.5b; INEC officials indicted in N177.3 million money laundering
[This Publication includes part of a compendium by Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) covering corruption cases as at 22nd of November, 2019.