Law News
Philip Shaibu was expelled from UNIJOS, says prosecution witness

A Benin High Court was, yesterday, told by a prosecution witness, Mr. Okharedia Ihimekpen, that the Majority Leader of Edo State House of Assembly, Mr. Philip Shaibu, never graduated from the University of Jos, UNIJOS, saying he was expelled from the university.

Similarly, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Zaknote Ventures Nig. Ltd., Mr. Zakari Ayonote, told the court that Mr. Shaibu was never his staff or an employee of the company.

The Majority Leader is being charged by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, for criminal falsification of his tax clearance certificate, falsification of University of Jos certificate and the claim that he worked for Zaknote Ventures Nigeria Ltd.

Giving evidence before the court presided over by Justice Esther Edigin, Ihimepken, a journalist, who said he was the one that petitioned ICPC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, said during investigation, he found out that Shaibu did not graduate from UNIJOS as he allegedly claimed, and that he falsified his tax clearance documents to Edo State Board of Internal Revenue.

He added that Philip Shaibu, as his investigation revealed, was never a staff of Zaknote from 2003 to 2006, as he claimed.

Zakari Ayonote, who was the second prosecution witness, told the court that the accused person was never a staff of his company of which he is the Managing Director/CEO.

He added that he only loaned some money to him to enable him contest the Presidency of National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, when he was introduced to him by a former member of Edo State House of Assembly, Mr. Luqman Muhammed.

He denied ever giving the accused any document to obtain tax clearance from Edo State Board of Internal Revenue.

Under cross-examination by Mr. Ken Mozia (SAN), counsel to Mr. Shaibu told the court that most of the staff in his company were casual workers and were paid in cash.

He also denied ever applying for tax clearance for any of his staff, saying none had ever requested him to do so.

He also claimed that he gave letters of employment and Identity cards to then.

Meanwhile, prosecuting counsel to ICPC, Mr. Igbadumhe, informed the court that some of his witnesses were being threatened, adding that he was advised by the court to apply for summons to be served on witnesses, who were unwilling to appear voluntarily.

The case has been adjourned to today for continuation.

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