Accused of mismanaging N68 billion, ex-Katsina Governor Shema declared wanted

Ibrahim Shema

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has declared a former governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema, wanted.
Mr. Shema is accused of gross financial misconduct, officials told this newspaper.

The ex-governor is being sought for allegedly mismanaging about N68 billion of state funds while he was governor between 2007 and 2015.

In 2012 alone, sources said Mr. Shema allegedly diverted about N18 billion from government coffers into his private accounts for undisclosed reasons.

The officials said Mr. Shema further raided local governments monthly allocation accounts which were being jointly run with the state government, leaving little for developmental projects and clearance of local government employees’ wages and salaries. A sum of N50 billion is believed to have been mismanaged this way.

The EFCC sources said Mr. Shema had been evading the anti-graft office for close to a year; and narrowly escaped being arrested on Wednesday.

When he was invited for a meeting at the agency’s headquarters in December 2015, Mr. Shema responded that he was not in the country, a source at the anti-graft agency said.

“He wrote back to us that he would visit as soon as he returned, but he never did,” an EFCC source said. “Another two subsequent invitations were sent to him which he failed to honour.”

Against this backdrop, the EFCC has launched a nationwide manhunt for Mr. Shema beginning with his being declared wanted.

Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari
Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari

SHEMA RESPONDS, BLAMES MASARI

In his response, Mr. Shema denied the allegations, telling PREMIUM TIMES that he acknowledged the EFCC’s letters through his lawyers.

Mr. Shema, who spoke through his spokesperson, Oluwabusola Olawale, said he couldn’t have ignored the summons of a legally-constituted authority like the EFCC.

Mr. Olawale said it was true that the EFCC wrote Mr. Shema while he was away. He added that subsequent correspondences were duly acknowledged.

“The EFCC sent another invitation and Mr. Shema agreed to honour the invitation with his lawyer, Wole Olanipekun,” Mr. Olawale said. “But the meeting with the EFCC could not hold because the officials were engaged elsewhere.”

The spokesperson said Mr. Shema had requested for an appointment with the EFCC through his lawyer, but was yet to get confirmation for a date.

“Subsequently, Mr. Olanipekun wrote EFCC in July this year requesting for a date to be given and up till date, no date has been fixed by EFCC for the meeting.”

Mr. Olawale alleged that his principal is being victimised by his successor, Bello Masari.

“From all indications, it appears like the same issue which Governor Bello Masari had petitioned EFCC about,,” Mr. Olawale said. “He has equally set up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate which is underway in Katsina and there’s also a pending court case on the matter.

“The allegations made by Mr. Masari are false, malicious and targeted to tarnish the image of Mr. Shema who served creditably well under the platform of PDP.”

Mr. Masari’s spokesperson, Abdu Labaran, did not respond to PREMIUM TIMES’ requests for comment for this story.

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  • Akogunkunle

    Good

  • Juris Doctor

    DEAR EDITOR,

    Could someone tell this moronic accused criminal and ex-Governor of Katsina State – Ibrahim Shema,
    that Premium Times is not a court of law with the power to decide if “the allegations made by Mr. Masari
    are false, malicious and targeted to
    tarnish the image of Mr. Shema who served creditably well under
    the
    platform of PDP.”

    The proper place to make such assertion and to prove it is a court of law, but the road
    to a court of law must pass through EFCC, as a matter of law, because EFCC is to firstly decide
    that a prima facie case of stealing exists after investigations for Ibrahim Shema to answer. That is the
    step Ibrahim Shema seems to avoid if he can find the time to plead rubbish to the public and say he
    has not found a date or been notified of a date to drive himself to the EFCC.

    It is more outrageous
    that his counsel – WOLE OLANIPEKUN – does not tell Ibrahim Shema that it is perfectly lawful to go
    to EFCC by oneself and request to be questioned on the facts deemed criminal over the 68b Naira
    said to be diverted and missing, in effect; stolen. If Ibrahim Shema cares for honour and cares for
    a good name, he will go by himself to the EFCC office first thing tomorrow morning. He cannot now
    expect sympathy from the duped people of Katsina by making public case through the media when
    he’s not taken the first step a well-advised accused criminal will take, to subject himself to probe.

    • Malik

      Don’t mind him, he thinks he’s smart

  • Mr. Immanuel O. Ikomi

    The allegations made by Mr. Masari are false, malicious and targeted to tarnish
    the image of Mr. Shema who served creditably well under the platform of PDP.”

    ……………..Ibrahim Shema

    But what am i going to do with that information, Mr Ex Governor? I work in a Mall as Manager.
    How am i to know the truth of what you are saying? I can only know the truth after the EFCC
    finishes its investigation. Why not wait for that first? You cannot decide your own case alone.

    • Deedee 2000

      @akogunkunle:disqus

      EFCC is doing a good job at discovering thefts,
      but will have to do better job at recovering stolen money so as to
      justify the purpose of the law prohibiting theft by also suing for jail
      sentence for each thief so as to stop making it appear that the punishment for
      high crime is refund. That sort of double standard makes the youths of Nigeria
      angry to form violent militias. Refund of stolen loot is not part of criminal
      law except it is taken into consideration to lessen the prison sentence. This
      nonsense culture of plea bargain is almost the criminal equivalent of
      settlement by bribery except that in plea bargain the thief decides the portion
      of the loot to retain and decides the portion to retain the owner. There will
      continue to be uprising in Nigeria so long as thieves dictate terms of
      restitution and wholly escape the punishment stated in the law. It is for this
      reason that President Buhari is said to be flippant and unserious on fighting
      corruption.

      • kinsly

        If the Judiciary can behave like the EFCC,most looted money would have been recovered. Ie, denial of bail, denial of any application for any kind of injunction, time limit of 30days for all cases, 6hrs a day.

  • Musa Isa

    I thought some couple of weeks ago Mr. Shema threatening to sue his former aide, Nasiru Salihu Ingawa to court if he (Nasiru) did not withdraw a statement he made at the commission of inquiry set up by the Katsina state government, Shema is yet to sue Nasiru to court! Thus, some thing is phishing here. And now to Katsina PDP, thy said “Shema is a lawyer and knows the law very well, and will defend himself in any court”, it is now up to him to either defend himself or keep hiding, time will tell

  • serubawon70

    what is it with these governors? It appears virtually all of them are crooked.

    • kinsly

      Oh you didn’t know?

  • Ebitari

    Masari, can you now see that it is not only Governors of the Niger Delta states that abuse their privilege and loot from the people’s commonwealth like you alluded to about 2 weeks ago? After all, the last time I checked Mr. Shema was still a native of Katsina State, where you’re Lord of the Manor.

  • favourtalk

    What a shame, seeing some governor stealing that much, it shows how much PDP took away from our collective pulse. We shall get there soon when the Magu led EFCC takes them all down

  • Omoba1

    The usual rhetorics of victimization. I wonder if these lawyers and their principals have any shame at all.

  • new republic

    efcc only fooling Nigerian,nothing will come out this nonsense,do you know how much this gov donated to Buhari’s campaign secretly?

    • Pointblank2000

      @disqus_TeKEbTtJ8r:disqus

      Muhamadu Buhari is the problem with Nigeria

      Muhamadu Buhari is weak, compromised, feeble and clueless on how to fight corruption. Nigeria cascades into
      utter ruins under Buhari’s watch as all he offers are platitudes. Nobody is in jail for proved treasury theft under Muhamadu Buhari, despite that the treasury has been looted almost to empty at noon. The Nigerian tragedy
      is getting worse by the laxity and the empty-headedness morality of all other arms of government.

      The Supreme Court of Nigeria is vacuous and leaderless. The Legislature is led by an accused criminal –
      BUKOLA SARAKI – who said the Arafat Muslim prayer in Saudi Arabia last Sunday is a major solution
      to Nigeria’s economic recession majorly caused by President Buhari’s wholly ignorant policies.

      With such so-called leaders in charge of Nigeria the country has no chance of success and will likely give way
      by year end in violent eruption without further ability to withstand the crushing weight of the billion-dollar theft
      of the treasury which President Buhari merely mopes at without any clue whatsoever on what to do or how.

    • kinsly

      Oya tell us, How much???

  • Sanssouci

    Shema u made 2 critical mistakes:
    1) failure to secure a senate seat, the logical resting place for all looting governors. There you would have enjoyed a certain esprit de corps and gleaned valuable information from veterans like Goje, Adamu Abdullahi, Saraki etc… on surviving efcc, your friend Suswam made the same costly mistake
    2) You decided to play hide and seek with Magu. You fo don go settle am like Akpabio and u would have continued enjoying your loot in all imunity

  • Julius

    Same tory from all over the place. You read one, you read them all.

  • front man

    He shall vomit everything he swallowed