By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
THE Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, yesterday, denied the allegation that he frustrated the prosecution of former Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema and other officials of the state government accused of diverting over N5.7billion SURE-P funds.
The High Court of Justice in Katsina State had on November 27, terminated further trial of three former officials of the state government that were fingered in the alleged fraud.
Justice Maikaita Bako reportedly struck out a criminal charge that the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related offences Commission, ICPC, preferred against the indicted officials, following alleged failure by the AGF to release the case file.
The court further discharged all the accused officials.
Those that were freed by the court were the Special Adviser to the former governor on SURE-P, Nasiru Ingawa; the Director of Account and Finance SURE-P Department, Abdulaziz Shinkafi; and the Chief Store Officer Katsina State Civil Service, Bello Bindawa.
It was reported that the AGF had earlier directed the anti-graft agency to submit the case-file to his office, to enable the Katsina State Government to take over the prosecution of the defendants.
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However, at the resumed proceeding on the matter, Justice Bako terminated the trial following the alleged failure of the AGF to release the case-file for prosecution.
Meanwhile, insisting that he was not against the trial of the accused persons, the AGF, in a statement signed by his media aide, Mr. Salihu Isah, said it was not true that he refused to handover the case-file to the Katsina State government before he traveled out of the country.