Ahead of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s plan to arraign him on fraud charges involving the sum of N5.7bn on Tuesday, the immediate-past Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema, said on Sunday that he was ready to defend himself in a fair trial.
The EFCC had, in a statement by its media officer in its Kano zonal office, Idris Nadabo, noted that it would, on April 24, arraign the former governor before the Katsina Division of the Federal High Court.
The commission stated that Shema would be arraigned before Justice Babagana Ahmed on 26 counts of money laundering involving the sum of N5,776,552,396, which the former governor allegedly withdrew from the state’s Subsidy Re-Investment and Empowerment Programme account in February 2014.
Responding to the development, the former governor, through his media assistant, Oluwabusola Olawale, said on Sunday that he was ready to defend himself in “a fair and just trial”, urging international community to monitor the planned arraignment.
“We insist that former Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema is innocent and demands transparent, fair and just trial based on the rule of law with the absolute belief that the God we worship is a just God who abhors injustice,” the statement had read in part.
The fresh charges are different from the 22 counts which the Supreme Court validated in a judgment delivered on January 26, 2018.
The apex court had held in the judgment that the 22 counts with the accompanying proof of evidence were competent and duly filed by the EFCC before the High Court of Katsina State.
Shema’s media aide said concerning the fresh charges on Sunday that “former Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema stands by his position that he is ready to defend himself in fair and just trial”.
He added that “with the fresh suit before Justice Babagana Ahmed of the Federal High Court, Katsina, we urge Nigerians and international community to monitor closely the planned arraignment of Shema on the slated date to understand the motive and agenda of the fresh suit”.