The Katsina State Government has withdrawn the N11 billion suit which it filed against the former Governor of the state, Ibrahim Shehu Shema, and former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, Ibrahim Lawal Dankaba, before the state High Court.
According to the state Director of Public Prosecution, Abdulrahman Umar, while speaking with newsmen on Monday night at the Government House, he said the withdrawal of the suit against the two defendants followed a ‘nolle prosqui’ filed by the state government before the court on Monday.
This Day reported that Shema was arraigned before late Justice Ibrahim Maikaita-Bako at the state High Court 3 in 2016 for alleged offences of criminal breach of trust, forgery, abuse of office and conversion of public funds to the tune of over N11 billion while he was governor of the state.
He was arraigned before the court alongside the former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Sani Hamisu Makana; former Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Alhaji Lawai Rufai and Dankaba, the former ALGON chairman.
But Shema, who served the state on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) between 2007 to 2015, pleaded not guilty to all the charges levelled against them by the incumbent Governor, Aminu Bello Masari.
Umar added that the court during the Monday’s proceedings accepted the Nolle Prosequi and discharged the governor and Dankaba from all corruption charges instituted against them by the state government.
He, however, explained that the N5.7 billion embezzlement suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission against Shema at the Federal High Court sitting in Katsina is still ongoing.
Umar said, “Today being Monday the 13 of February, 2023, we were in High Court number 3 where the trial of the former Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shehu Shema, is being conducted.
“We went with a nolle prosequi, which is a power of any state attorney-general to either institute an action or criminal case against any person in Nigeria before any court of law or take over any criminal proceedings against any person and as well as power to discontinue any case at any stage of the proceedings before judgment is entered.
“The attorney-general exercised that power and we went with it and the court gladly accepted that position of the attorney general to discontinue the case. To that effect, the former governor and Lawal Dankaba were discharged from all charges against them. That is the position of the state government at the moment but the EFCC’s case is still ongoing.”