Fromer governor of Katsina state, Ibrahim Shema, who was on Wednesday declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has dismissed the commission saying it is now an embarrassment to Nigeria.
He said the commission declared him wanted without any prior invitation.
Writing in a letter to the EFCC acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, Shema said he had honoured previous EFCC’s invitation and wondered why the commission would go ahead to declare him wanted.
“Without any formal invitation to me, the EFCC purported, by a letter dated June 17, 2016, sent to a wrong address of Wole Olanipekun & Co. asking the law firm to make Dr. Ibrahim Shehu Shema available for an interview with the undersigned on Tuesday, June 28, 2016. The letter was signed by Hyecinth A. Edozie.
“Despite the incongruity in the way and manner the invitation was extended to me through a counsel – and also through a wrong address of the same counsel, and notwithstanding the fact that I was already billed to travel to Saudi Arabia for the lesser hajj (Umrah) on the appointment day, I cancelled all the engagements to honour the invitation with my counsel on the said June 28, 2016, only to be informed, around 10am on that day, that the interview would no longer hold, as Mr. Hyecinth A. Edozie was out of Abuja, and that a new date, after Sallah, would be communicated.
“As a senior citizen of this country, a legal practitioner of 32 years post-call experience, and a two-time Governor of Katsina State, I not only feel seriously embarrassed, disturbed, surprised and confounded by the report sponsored by EFCC, but also feel sorry for our dear country.
“I feel sorry for the pitiable situation we have found ourselves as Nigerians, where and when a sacred institution like the EFCC is pressurised, and used, to sponsor fake, false, malicious, misleading and unfounded allegations against someone like me, who the EFCC has not at any time accused of fraud, embezzlement, inflation of contract, or any misdemeanour at all.
“The EFCC deliberately embarked on false propaganda against me and my person by positing that I have ignored several invitations which it extended to me”, Shema said.
EFCC had accused Shema of ignoring invitations since December 2015.
But Shema insisted that his lawyer wrote a letter to the EFCC on June 28, 2016 addressed to Edozie and copied the acting chairman of commission.
According to him, the letter was delivered, received, stamped and duly acknowledged at the commission’s headoffice on the same June 28, 2016.
“To date, the EFCC has not responded to the said letter, suggesting any new date,” he said.
Shema accused the commission of being used by his successor, Aminu Bello Masari, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to harass and intimidate him.