Olusola Elijah

Justice Ibrahim Bako of Katsina State High Court on Monday adjourned further sitting to November 14, for continuation of defence in the trial of former governor Ibrahim Shema and three others.

This is over the alleged misappropriation of the N10.8 billion belonging to the state chapter of ALGON between 2007 and 2015.

The three other accused persons include Sani Makana, former local government affairs commissioner; Lawal Rufa’i, former permanent secretary in the Local Government Affairs ministry, and Ibrahim Dankaba, the ex-ALGON chairman in the state.

Uyi Ugunmma, the Counsel to the fourth respondent in the case (Ibrahim Dankaba) at the resumption of the case requested a three-day adjournment to enable him prepare and file his written defence for his client.

The state Solicitor-General, Safiya Badamasi (SAN), also told the court that the prosecution team would require three days to file a reply to the written defence.

The judge, Ibrahim Bako, after due consultations with other counsels thereafter adjourned further hearing on the continuation of the defence to November 14.

EFCC had filed a 24-count charge on the alleged N10.8 billion ALGON fund against the ex-governor and the trio, which centred on criminal breach of trust, criminal conspiracy, fraud and forgery.

The EFCC said some of the charges are contrary to Sections 96, 311, 363, 366 and 85 of the Penal Code, Cap 96 laws of Katsina State, 1991.

However, Mr Shema and the three other accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The commission the trial of the former governor and trio was based on a petition received from the state government alleging that N10.8 billion belonging to the state ALGON was allegedly misappropriated by the four defendants during the tenure of Shema.

The court therefore had to order for a trial within trial following the insistence of the former ALGON chairman and his counsel that his three statements of January 25, 2016; October 31, 2016, and November 16, 2016, were made under duress to the EFCC. (NAN)