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Michael Wetkas, principal detective supritendent with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has revealed before Danladi Umar led Code of Conduct Tribunal, how Senate President Olubukola Saraki, allegedly diverted state funds to procure assests for his personal use.
Wetkas told the tribunal while being led in evidence by the Prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs SAN that the EFCC IN 2011, received several petitions from various groups which include one Kwara Group Network, over allegations bothering on abuse of office against Saraki.
According to him, the petitions were assigned to other teams for investigation, while the former Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde upon receipt of intelligence report of auspicious transactions traced to Saraki, he did set up a team of investigators comprising him, Chris Odofin and Nura Bako.
During the course of investigation, it was discovered that there were several companies linked to him, some of which include Cailaisle Allied properties and investment limited, High view properties and investment, linkers properties and investment, Dily – Tee corporate limited and several others.
“During investigation, we gathered that the defendant maintained three accounts with Guarantee Trust Bank and they are in Naira, US Dollar and Pound sterling currency accounts. The accounts were realised in the course of investigation.
“The Naira account was analysed and it was discovered that between 2005 and 2013, the account had several inflow totaling N4billion. The loan paid into the account was over N2.5billion.
“The dollar account was analysed, and we discovered that the major inflow was from Allied properties and investment limited with $2million, the source of inflow was also from Bureau de Change companies and other individual transactions”, he said.
He further revealed that the dollar account between 2009 and 2013 was over $6million, while the team discovered that $3.4million inflow was wired to American Express Services New York Limited to fund Saraki’s American Express Service New York Card account.
“The other part of the finds into the dollar account was changed into over €1.5million and also wired to the United Kingdom through Fortis Bank for purchase of properties in London”, he testified.
The EFCC detective further revealed how Saraki gave moneies to one Oluwadodimu Adeyeye, through Bayo Abdulrahman Dauda, relationship manager with GTBank, GRA, Ilorin to be lodged into the naira account.
One Ubi was said to have on a single day, at five separate lodgements, made payments of about N77million, while Abdul Adama, Saraki’s personal assistant on domestic affairs in also made payments in 50 separate lodgments in a single day, of sums ranging from N600,000 to N900,000.
On the same day, Ubi was also said to have made payments in 20 times on the same range of funds while Saraki held sway as Governor of Kwara state.
Upon full commencement of investigation into the alleged improprieties in Saraki’s asset declaration form, the MD of Cailaisle Allied properties and investment company, Kennedy Sule Izuagbe was invited for questioning, but he was said to have gone underground when documents of the list of properties being managed by the company were sought for.
As a result of this, the team sought a search warrant and proceeded to search the company’s headquarters I in Lagos were relevant documents were carted away for investigation.
The team realised that No. 15, Macdonald, Ikoyi Lagos was not declared by Saraki in his asset form, same as No. 17a and b which were bought at the aggregate of N497million, he noted that even though Saraki claimed to have acquired it through the sale of rice and sugar, they were acquired through a GTBank loan.
He also revealed that No 2a, Glover road Ikoyi bought at N325million, No 37a, Glover road Ikoyi, Lagos which has an annual yield of N5.5million were not declared in the assets declaration form.
Saraki, apart from maintaining an American Express Service Card account with American Express Bank, New York while he was governor of Kwara state, was also said to have gotten a N375million loan from GTB for purchase of properties in London, which was not disclosed in the form.
The prosecution thereafter tendered six of Saraki’s asset declaration forms; KWSE 001440 (2003), SEN 0011012 (2015), KWSE 000041 (2007), KWSE 000040 (2007), KWSE 000218 (2011), SEN 001013 (2015) and admitted as Exhibits 1 – 6 by the tribunal.
The matter was subsequently adjourned to April 6, 2015 for continuation of trial.
Earlier, Saraki, lost his bid for adjournment before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), in his ongoing trial over non declaration of all his assets while he was governor of Kwara state and for misappropriation of some state funds.
The tribunal had dismissed the application on the basis that the new ACJA does not give room for stay of proceedings even when an interlocutory appeal had been entered before an appellate court.