EFCC seizes ex-Gov Shema’s passport over alleged N76bn fraud

image

Immediate past Governor of Katsina State, Mr.
Ibrahim Shema

Eniola Akinkuotu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
has seized the passport of the immediate past
Governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema,
as
part of investigations into the alleged N76bn fraud
perpetrated by Shema.
Shema was detained by the EFCC on Friday after
he voluntarily walked into the head office of the
EFCC.
However, a source close to the ex-governor said that despite meeting the bail
conditions, the anti-graft agency refused to release
him.

The source said, “You will recall that the EFCC
declared Shema wanted even though they knew he
was not on the run. They had invited him for
questioning in June but when he arrived at their
office, he was informed that the detective in
charge, Mr. Hyecinth A. Edozie, was out of Abuja,
and that a new date, after Sallah, would be
communicated.
“However, they never informed him of a new date
and then went ahead to declare him wanted. On
getting to the EFCC on Friday, the ex-governor
presented a stamped document acknowledging
that he had honoured the EFCC’s invitation in
June.
“After being grilled for several hours, the EFCC
gave him bail conditions, including that he tenders
his passport and property documents of his
sureties which he did. However, the EFCC still
refused to grant him bail and said he should wait
till Monday.”
The anti-graft agency started investigating Shema
following allegations levelled against him by his
successor, Governor Bello Masari, who is a former
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Masari had accused Shema of financial impropriety
and diversion of billions of naira.
The governor said he had “concrete evidence” to
drag his predecessor before the anti-graft agency
to recover all stolen funds.
According to Masari, there are some mistakes that
can be forgiven, “but N70bn is a huge amount of
money that we cannot overlook.”
He alleged that the former governor
misappropriated over N76.6bn collected as excess
crude oil allocation and diverted over N7.5bn into
his private pocket.
Masari also alleged that Shema and other top
government officials of the Ministry of Local
Government Affairs used fake receipts to divert
over N750m earmarked to purchase drugs for local
government councils.
Shema, however, accused the EFCC of being used
by Masari to persecute him for political reasons.
All attempts to speak with the spokesman for the
EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, proved abortive as his
two phones indicated that they were switched off,
while text messages were not responded to as of
press time.

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