…Accuse incumbent Governor Masari of Sponsoring the Agency
The immediate past governor of Katsina State Ibrahim Shema recently declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has claimed his successor, Aminu Bello Masari, has influenced the EFCC’s decision against him. He also denied the agency claim that is on the run.
This was disclosed in letter by the former governor address to the acting Chairman of the anti-graft with the title “Setting The Record Straight And Demand For Fairness, Justice And Equity In Accordance With The Rule Of Law” signed by Oluwabusola Olawale head media team of the former governor obtained by THE NEW DIPLOMAT stated that the former governor was shocked when he read publications on Thursday declaring him wanted by the agency.
It added that the former governor had responded to his invitation by the agency following a petition against him by the current APC Governor of the State Aminu Bello Masari through his lawyer.
“We were shocked when we read publications on Thursday, September 15, 2016, quoting the EFCC as having declared former Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema of Katsina State wanted. We wish to set the
record straight in the interest of fairness, justice, equity and rule of law.
“The fact is that the EFCC sent Shema an invitation to attend an interview with the anti-graft agency, in respect of a petition against the former governor by the current APC Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina state. That was in 2015. Ex-Governor Shema’s lawyers responded to the invitation by confirming Shema’s absence from Nigeria and requested that he should be given time to honour the invitation on his return” Olawale said.
He further stated that in February 2016, the Commission wrote on this subject-matter and his lawyer responded accordingly requesting their permission for his lawyers to be in attendance when the meeting would hold. “In fairness to the EFCC and its leadership, they wrote and gave 28th June, 2016 for the meeting, and Shema’s lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) left his tight schedule in Lagos and came to Abuja for the appointment only for them to be informed by 10 am on the same date that the EFCC officials handling the matter were out of Abuja on another assignment” Olawale added.
Olawale said the former governor’s lawyer again wrote a letter on 28th June, 2016, requesting for a new date but did not receive a new date until the agency officials went to Shema’s residence around 1pm on Wednesday 14th September 2016, where they met his absence and gy 5.00pm the Commission declared
him wanted. “It is in the interest of fairn ess and equity that we will like to say that he did not fail to honou r EFCC invitation. He is prepared to defend himself and clear his name. His lawyer has already written to the EFCC, requesting the commission to give him a new date for the interview. This is
contained in the letter written by his lawyer which has been submitted to the EFCC” Olawale said.
He said it is on record and to the knowledge of both local and international communities that Governor Aminu Bello Masari of the APC, who has deeply politicized this issue, has been trying to use the ICPC , Judicial Commission of Inquiry, which he constituted by himself, and the EFCC, etc to blackmail, denigrate and persecute Shema through his sponsored and orchestrated campaign of calumny.
“Equally important is the fact that Governor Aminu Bello Masari has since his coming into office in May 2015, granted over 100 television, radio, and newspapers interviews to witchhunt Shema. Governor Aminu Masari, apart from setting up over 13 different committees populated by APC card-carrying
members and even members of his cabinet, equally set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry in March 2016, which is currently sitting in Katsina on the same allegations for which we are in court with him in the suit number – CA/K/430/16” he said.
He said the former governor has been waiting for an appointment from agency since 28th of June, 2016 and ask the agency to be conscious of its duties under the law and not allow itself to be used by
Governor Aminu Bello Masari of APC for his mischievous sponsored, malicious and spurious petitions orchestrated and emanating from him, his administration, agents and proxies. “We will like to appreciate it if a new date can be given to Shema like his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) who has already written, requesting for same. Be assured that Shema is ready and willing to defend himself and clear his name against Governor Aminu Bello Masari s false and wicked allegations” Olawale said.
He noted that the former governor will never run away from defending himself under any circumstances, and, therefore, declaring him wanted is unjust and unnecessary