Nasiru Ingawa, Special Adviser to ex-Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State on SURE-P, on Tuesday told a Federal High Court in Katsina how Shema allegedly directed him to use about N5.7 billion state SURE-P funds for politics during his tenure.
The former special adviser testified at the resumed hearing of a fraud case against Shema.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Shema is standing trial before the court on a 26- count charge bordering on fraud, in contravention of Section 15(2d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011, as amended.
The offences are punishable under Section 15 (3) of the Act.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission preferred the charges.
Ingawa told the court that he was the Special Adviser to Shema on SURE-P (Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme) from June, 2014, to May, 2015.
He said: “I remember him (Shema) telling me that we were going to use the funds for politics and that we would extract our savings from there.”
He said that the duo wrote memos for certain programmes and used half of the money, while the remaining half went into savings.
Ingawa also said that the department made direct purchases from which a certain percentage would go into savings.
He added that sometimes, they wrote memos for programmes not implemented at all.
He said: “The tradition is that I had to sit down and discuss with him on any programme; if he agreed, he would instruct me on exactly how much the savings should be from that programme.”
The witness testified that, sometimes, he gave the funds to Shema directly, while some other times, he (Shema) instructed him who to give.
He said: “All money from SURE-P account were withdrawn in cash, with the exception of few programmes which the withdrawal was done with cheques.”
After the evidence, the prosecution counsel, O. I. Uket, applied for adjournment, which the defence counsel did not object to.
Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari adjourned the case to January 14, 2019, for continuation of trial.