The Nigerian government has arraigned a businessman, Muhammad Mahdi Shehu, who petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged multi-billion naira fraud by the Katsina State Government before a Federal High Court sitting in Kano.

Shehu had in July 2020 petitioned the EFCC to investigate Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina state for alleged misappropriation and misapplication of over N52 billion spent as security vote in the state from June 2015 to April 29, 2020.

Mahdi Shehu

He claimed that the daily attacks by bandits in the state call for serious questions on sincerity in the security management by the state government. 

Instead of working on the petition, Mahdi was arrested for allegedly inciting the public against Masari, his government, and the secretary to the state government, Mustapha Inuwa.

Shehu, who was arraigned on six counts on Monday of alleged Criminal Defamation, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The Prosecution Counsel in the case, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Simon Lough, while presenting the charges before the court, accused the whistle-blower of an alleged violation of his bail conditions and publishing 32 new defamation episode from March to June 28, 2021, against Governor Bello Aminu Masari on the internet. See Also Legal Mahdi Shehu, Katsina Whistleblower, Granted Bail

The case with the title, “FG vs Muhammad Mahdi and Dialogue Global Ltd”, has one count against Mahdi who accused Masari of squandering N52 billion of Katsina Treasury Funds.

Count two of the charges alleged that Mahdi accused Masari during an interview granted on Freedom Radio Station of allegedly squandering billions of naira belonging to the state.

Count three of the charges bordered on an allegation against Masari by Mahdi who accused the governor of approving N500 million for the All Progressives Congress' meetings in Abuja. See Also Human Rights Katsina Court Stops Arrest Of Human Rights Activist, Mahdi Shehu

After carefully listening to all the charges against him, Muhammad Mahdi pleaded not guilty to all of them.

The Presiding Judge, Justice A. Lima adjourned the case to July 26 and 27, 2021 for hearing.

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