Justice Maikaita Bako of the Katsina State High Court has adjourned the case of the former governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shehu Shema and three others to the 12th of June, 2018.
The adjournment came as a result of service of a document which the defendants protested that they were not served on time.
It would be recalled that, on the last adjourned date, the prosecution was leading PW1 in evidence during which the defence counsels raised objection on document mentioned by the witness which was not readily available in court at the time.
The matter was subsequently adjourned to today, May 30th for the production of the said document and it’s service on the defendants.
Shema is charged alongside three others, Ibrahim Lawal Dankaba, Sani Hamisu Makana and Ahmed Rufai Safana before the Katsina State High Court for allegedly embezzling over Eleven Billion Naira from the coffers of Katsina State.
When the matter came up today, counsel representing the first defendant, J.B Daudu SAN argued that the matter was not ripe for hearing.
He submitted that on the last adjourned date the prosecution asked for an adjournment to serve the defendants with document which was not readily available in court. He further informed that from 10th April, we didn’t hear from them until the 28th of May, 2018.
In the circumstance, Daudu asked the court for an adjournment to enable them do a background check on the document for the purpose of cross examination.
A.T Kehinde SAN for the second defendant aligned himself with Daudu and so did B.Y Kura SAN for the 3rd defendant and Uyi Igunma for the 4th defendant.
Counsel for the prosecution, Joseph Olatoke SAN urged the court to discountenance the submission of the learned counsels for defendants.
He told the court that the defendants having conceded that the report has been submitted to the commission of enquiry, it means they are aware of the existence of the document which means they had time to do whatever they wanted on the document because they are familiar with the document.
“My Lord would recall that the case was last adjourned because they applied to have a copy of the report. By that token, they are aware that the report became part of this proceeding”. He said.
Olatoke also informed the court that the defendants have also conceded that they were served with the report on the 28th of May 2018.
He added that the document is not a motion that will entitled them 48 hours to respond.
It is only a document that needed to be tendered which means after the document has been tendered and the prosecution finished examination in chief, the defence counsels can choose to cross examine or not.
Daudu and the other defence counsels informed the court that all they are asking is a constitutional right, as stipulated under section 36(6)(b) of the 1999 constitution.
Justice Bako granted the application of the defendants and adjourned the matter to June 12, 2018.