Ex-Katsina Governor Ibrahim Shema has marched himself to the EFCC office
Immediate past Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shehu Shema, has just turned himself in to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), his spokesperson, Oluwabusola Olawale, has just told Pulse.
Two days ago, the anti-graft agency had declared Shema a wanted man. EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, had issued the following statement:
“The public is hereby notified that Ibrahim Shema, a former Governor of Kastina State, is wanted by the EFCC in connection with a case of criminal conspiracy, inflation of contracts, abuse of office, diversion of funds and embezzlement, running into billions of naira.
“The former governor ignored several invitations by the commission since December 1, 2015, when he was first summoned by the agency. All efforts to locate him at his known addresses in Katsina and Abuja were futile.
“The 59-year-old ex-governor hails from the Dutsena-ma Local Government Area of Katsina State. He is tall, light in complexion and speaks Hausa and English fluently. Anybody, having useful information as to his whereabouts, should contact the commission.”
The EFCC statement had been splashed across the major Dailies in Nigeria, alongside a photograph of the ex-Governor.
Soon after however, Shema slammed his successor, Aminu Bello Masari, alleging that he's the subject of a witch-hunt.
Shema is a member of the PDP while Masari belongs to the APC.
In a letter written by his counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Shema said there was an “unwarranted and unexpected campaign of calumny being waged" against him, "coupled with a deliberate attempt to blackmail, denigrate and vilify Shema and his aides".
In a statement sent to Pulse, Masari said he wasn't going to join issues with Shema, adding that “ N70bn is a huge amount of money that we cannot overlook.”
Masari's statement to Pulse also indicated he isn't about to let go of the Shema case because the former governor misappropriated over N76bn received as excess crude oil allocation and diverted over N7.5bn into his private pocket.
The Katsina Governor also alleged that Shema and other top government officials of the Ministry of Local Government Affairs diverted over N750m earmarked for the purchase of drugs.
Shema spokesperson Olawale had told online newspaper Premium Times on Thursday that the Ex-Governor was in talks with the anti-graft agency for a soft-landing.
“His lawyers are negotiating with EFCC officials to cool everything down and allow him come on a new date,” Mr. Olawale said. “We’re hoping there’ll be a breakthrough between today and tomorrow.”
Olawale has just told Pulse that as a law abiding citizen, Shema decided to report himself to the EFCC because "he has nothing to fear".
Pressed on why his Principal had shunned EFCC invitations in the past, Olawale told Premium Times that the anti-graft agency wasn't telling the truth.
“He was told to come back later because the officials in charge were on other assignment.”
“After that, he also wrote them through his lawyers for a new date but they didn’t respond. We also took letters to their office which they declined to collect.
“All these are politically-motivated attacks aimed at rubbishing a man who served the people of Katsina well throughout his tenure. He didn’t only clear all the state’s debts, he also left a robust treasury for the incoming government.”