Former Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema, is not on the run and is willing to defend himself against allegations of corruption levelled against him before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), his media aide, Oluwabusola Olawale, said yesterday.
In a letter addressed to the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Olawale, who heads the media team of the former governor, said declaring Shema wanted was unjust and unnecessary.
In the letter titled: “Setting the record straight and demand for fairness, justice and equity in accordance with the rule of law”, Olawale said the ex-governor was ready and willing to defend himself against “Governor Aminu Bello Masari’s false and wicked allegations.”
“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 records 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”, the letter reads in part.
According to the media aide, In February 2016, the commission wrote on this subject and Shema’s 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,” he said.
“Note also that he (Shema) will never run away from defending himself under any circumstances, therefore, declaring him wanted is unjust and unnecessary,” the letter reads.
A top EFCC source told Daily Trust yesterday that Shema had yet to submit himself to the agency.
The source said the EFCC always obtained an arrest warrant from the court before declaring individuals wanted.
Daily Trust