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Judge frowns at EFCC’s “lack of preparedness” in Shema’s case

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Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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Justice Hadiza Shagari of the federal high court Katsina on Tuesday frowned at the lack of preparedness of the prosecution in the trial of the former governor of Katsina, Ibrahim Shema.

The former governor was arraigned before the court in October and pleaded not guilty to the 26-count charges bordering on money laundering of SURE-P funds filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

He was subsequently granted bail on the existing condition of self recognition by the court.

At the last adjourned date, Justice Shagari had set Monday for the commencement of trial, but as the trial began on Tuesday, with a witness, Nasiru Ingawa testifying.

But counsel to the prosecution, O.I Uket, interjected and prayed the court for an adjournment on the ground that some documents to be tendered before the court were not readily available.

Mr Uket said, “my lord, at this point I think we have to apply for an adjournment to enable us put certain document we want to tender in proper shape. The documents have been certified but the person who certified it did not include his designation”.

The judge advised all the counsel that whenever they are coming for their case, they should come prepared.

He said, “Next time you are coming to my court, come prepared. If you are not ready, you should have told me. You had adequate time to prepare for this case between the last adjourned date and today”.

Mr Ingawa, a former Special Adviser to the ex-Governor Shema on SURE-P funds had told the court how the money was spent as chief executive officer of the department.

He also told the court he was assigned some specific role as Special Adviser to the governor which he carried out to the best of his ability.

Last month, the court began the trial of Mr Shema afresh, following the transfer of the previous judge handling the case.

The case has been further adjourned to January 14, 2019.

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