The Katsina State Government has retracted its N11 billion lawsuit against the former Governor of the state, Ibrahim Shehu Shema, and former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Ibrahim Lawal Dankaba, that it had previously filed with the state High Court.
Abdulrahman Umar, the state Director of Public Prosecution, announced to journalists at the Government House on Monday evening that the state government had filed a nolle prosequi before the court, leading to the withdrawal of the lawsuit against the two defendants.
Former Governor Shema was accused of criminal breach of trust, forgery, abuse of office, and converting public funds totaling over N11 billion during his time as governor. He was arraigned in 2016 before the late Justice Ibrahim Maikaita-Bako at the state High Court 3.
Former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Sani Hamisu Makana, former Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Alhaji Lawai Rufai, and former ALGON Chairman Dankaba were also brought before the court alongside Shema.
However, the former governor, who served under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from 2007 to 2015, pleaded not guilty to all the charges filed against him by the Governor Aminu Bello Masari-led government.
During the media chat, Umar confirmed that during Monday’s proceedings, the court accepted the Nolle Prosequi and cleared the former governor and Dankaba of all corruption charges brought against them by the state government.
Umar said: “Today being Monday the 13 of February, 2023, we were in High Court number 3 where the trial of the former Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shehu Shema, is being conducted.
“We went with a nolle prosequi, which is a power of any state attorney-general to either institute an action or criminal case against any person in Nigeria before any court of law or take over any criminal proceedings against any person and as well as power to discontinue any case at any stage of the proceedings before judgment is entered.
“The attorney-general exercised that power and we went with it and the court gladly accepted that position of the attorney general to discontinue the case.
“To that effect, the former governor and Lawal Dankaba were discharged from all charges against them. That is the position of the state government at the moment but the EFCC’s case is still ongoing.” He added.