The immediate past governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema, has accused his successor, Aminu Masari, of orchestrating a “sinister” plan to endanger his life.
In a statement by the media aide of the former governor, Oluwabusola Olawale, sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday, Mr Shema said his life is under threat adding that Mr Masari should be held responsible if anything happens to him.
The statement accused the incumbent governor of using security forces to abduct and humiliate him.
A stand-off ensued between Mr Shema and operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, according to reports in several Nigerian media. The former governor who was being tried for corruption and fraud related offences, rebuffed an attempt by the operatives to have him arrested inside the premises of the Katsina State High Court.
Mr. Olawale in his statement claimed that the hour-long stand-off was an attempt planned by the incumbent governor to abduct and humiliate Mr. Shema.
He claimed that Mr. Shema had received wind of the of the attempted abduction but dismissed it thinking the Mr Masari “could not stoop so low”.
“The failed attempt to abduct former Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at the premises of Katsina State High Court by security agents who were being used by Governor Aminu Bello Masari and his aides, despite the ruling of the Court to maintain status quo on the bail granted Shema pending the determination of the matter before the Court, has confirmed that the ongoing corruption case against Shema and his former aides is not about court trial and rule of law, but sheer personal vendetta and a wicked attempt to humiliate, and harass the immediate past governor,” he claimed.
“The failed abduction and desperation of Governor Masari and his aides have been confirmed to us that there is a sinister move to probably harm former Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema. With this development, the life of former Governor Shema is in danger, and if anything happens to him, the people of Katsina state, well-meaning Nigerians and the international community should hold Governor Aminu Bello Masari responsible,” he said.
He said the attempt to have Mr Shema arrested was not officially sanctioned by the EFCC and that was why it did not succeed.
“In the ongoing saga, Governor Masari is the petitioner, accuser, investigator and jury. We have been vindicated that Shema is facing nothing but a political persecution and personal vendetta orchestrated by Masari and his aides.
“The failed abduction of former Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema within the Court premises has thrown Nigeria back into the Dark Age. It also further confirmed that Masari is the sole mastermind of the witch-hunting of Ibrahim Shehu Shema, using state and federal institutions to carry out his wicked act.”
However, the media aide to Mr. Masari, Abdu Labaran described the allegation against his principal as “nonsense”.
In a telephone chat with PREMIUM TIMES, Mr. Labaran wondered how Mr Masari will use security forces to humiliate his predecessor when he does not control the EFCC or any other security agency.
He also said the state governor did not charge Mr. Shema to court for corruption, rather the EFCC did.
He added that if Mr. Shema was looking for who is responsible for his travails he should look at the mirror.
“Let me say briefly that that is all nonsense. EFCC or the police do not take orders from Masari. Even the Judiciary too. They are not under Masari. So how can he order them to do his bidding?,” he asked.
“There were no persons where the incident took place, if at all it happened that is identified with Governor Masari. Did any person confess that he was sent by Masari to do that? So what I’m saying is that it is nonsense.
“Let me add by way of explanation if Shema was looking for who is responsible for his travail, all I’m saying is that he should look at the mirror to find the person responsible for his travail.” he said.
He wondered why Mr. Shema was complaining about the court case when he went to a radio station and asked that residents tell the governor to charge him to court.
“But Governor Masari did not do so. It was the EFCC that took him to court. So how can he blame Masari for his travail? I say that is nonsense. Masari has nothing to do with his travail.
Mr. Labaran also advised Mr. Shema to report any perceived threat to his life to appropriate security agencies rather than rushing to the media.
“It is not the media that is going to prevent anything from happening to him,” he said.