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Alleged N5.7b SURE-P fraud: I have no evidence I took money to Shema — Witness

Bligharrison

Nov. 28, 2019

At the resumed trial of former Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shehu Shema, at the Federal High Court Katsina on Tuesday, the former Special Adviser to the Government on Sure P, who is also the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission star witness, Nasiru Salisu Ingawa, told the court during cross examination that he has no proof or evidence that he gave any money from Sure P to Shema. Shema was charged before the Federal High Court in Katsina by the EFCC on allegations of misappropriation of of N5.7 billion from Sure P. He pleaded not guilty to the allegations. Ingawa at the sitting of the court on November 13, 2018 in the course of the trial during the evidence-in-chief, told the court that contracts at Sure P were inflated and some programmes whose money were approved and released were not executed, but he took the money to the defendant. On Tuesday during the cross examination, he was asked by defence counsel, Sebastine Tar Hon (SAN): “Do you have any document or evidence as the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer of Sure P that you took any money to the defendant?” The EFCC witness responded: “My lord, I have no evidence that I took any money to the defendant.” The witness also admitted that the oath of office he took included covenant to uphold the constitution of the country and discharge his duties without fear or favour. He also admitted that proper book keeping and documentation of financial records were part of his duties. Also when the witness was asked if there is anything to show from the payment vouchers he earlier tendered to the court that the contract sum during his tenure at Sure P were inflated, he said: “Nothing to show.” There was a mild drama during the proceeding of the court when Hon asked the prosecution counsel to tender to the court Ingawa’s statements to the EFCC that were served as proof of evidence. The EFCC counsel, U. T. Uket, told the court that he doesn’t have them. The trial  judge, Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari, who frowned at the attitude of the prosecutor, said: “In a criminal trial at anytime the prosecutor should always be ready to produce documents you filed before the court and served as proof of evidence. “I don’t understand the way you want us to go on in this case. “As a prosecutor, delay is not supposed to come from you.” The court adjourned the continuation of the trial to Wednesday to enable the prosecution counsel tender the witness’s statements.
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