Leaked audio sparks off renewed calls for Shema’s speedy trial

A leaked audio conversation that has gone viral on the social media has caused renewed calls on the anti-graft agencies to intensify investigation into alleged financial misdeeds by former Katsina state Governor Ibrahim Sheu Shema.

The conversation has the ex-governor’s chief of staff, Husseini Dambo and a former caretaker committee chairman of Kankara local government council, Mallam  Hadi Audu.

Shema was governor from 2007 to 2015 and currently being investigated  by the and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) for alleged embezzlement of N5.7 billion state funds.

The anti-graft body arraigned Shema on a 26-count charge of conspiracy and laundering of N5.7billion allegedly stolen from the account of  the State SURE-P.  

But he pleaded  not guilty to all the charges.

In the audio conversation, Dambo obviously responding to prodding by Hadi, said the former governor is worth trillion of naira having allegedly diverted funds belonging to the Katsina state government.

Dambo said: “We just suffer for nothing. Even an ordinary plot of land I do not have. I am ready for a showdown.”

He was also overheard claiming to have  knowledge of some of the ex-governor’s companies in Lagos, allegedly established with proceeds from the state.

Audu further  accused the former governor of not supporting the opposition People Democratic Party(PDP) in the state,  describing the action as being counterproductive to the party’s interest.

The clips also revealed the duo as expressing angst over what they called the overbearing influence of the PDP chairman in the state, Mallam Salisu Majigiri.

They accused Majigiri, who, as  chief of staff to Shema, of blocking members’ access  to the former governor, warning such an action cold only drive away loyal party members.

The general feeling among indigenes of the state is that it has become imperative for the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies to step up their investigation into the allegations against the governor and even some of his cronies, including his governors.

“Clearly, this revelation, coming from people who served with him and who in law, are accomplices, showed that the state’s resources may have been mismanaged. A thorough probe will unravel what actually transpired,” said a resident who spoke under anonymity.

Another  Katsina indigene in Abuja, Mohammed, described the clip as “embarrassing because of the personalities involved. Why I do not want to pass judgement for now, I want to say that, this could just be one of the secrets of  how our leaders mess up the state resources. His trial should be sped up so we can know he whole truth about his regime.”   

When contacted, Shema, speaking through his spokesman, Olawale Oluwabusola, described the audio conversation as baseless, insisting “there is no substance in what they are saying.”

On his part, the state PDP chairman, Mallam  Majigiri, dismissed the leaked conversation, saying  it was part of the  2023 game plan.

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