The Katsina State Government on Monday withdrew the misappropriation of the N11b case against former Governor Ibrahim Shema.
The Director of Public Prosecution of the State Ministry of Justice Malam Abdulrahman Umar disclosed this in a press briefing on Monday.
This is coming seven years after the state government under the leadership of Governor Aminu Masari and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) dragged Shema and three others to court over the alleged misappropriation of the state Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) fund.
The anti-graft agency had hitherto filed 24-count charges bordering on the criminal breach of trust, fraud, conspiracy, and forgery, among others against Shema. But he pleaded not guilty.
But according to Umar, the state government filed a Nolle prosequi regarding the suit.
“This is the power of a state attorney-general under Section 211 of the 1999 constitution as (amended), to either institute an action on a criminal case against any person before any court of law.
“The attorney-general can take over any criminal proceedings against any person, as well as the power to discontinue any case at any stage of the proceeding before judgment is entered. The attorney-general exercised that power and we went with it and the court gladly accepted the 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 explained.
Shema has been standing trial alongside three others for conspiring to divert the sum of N11 billion from the state ALGON account as governor between 2011 and 2015.
The three others standing trial with the former governor include the former state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Sani Makana, the former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Lawal Rufa’i, and a former ALGON chairman Lawal Dankaba.
Similarly, the Katsina Division of the Federal High Court has before it another trial between Shema and the EFCC in respect of the alleged 26-count charges bordering on money laundering involving the diversion of N5.7b from the Katsina Subsidy Re-Investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) fund.