Saraki’s Trial Adjourned Till April 18
The trial of Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on alleged falsification of assets has been adjourned till April 18, 2016 for continuation of hearing and cross-examination.
The trial had resumed at the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 with both counsel to the case announcing their appearances.
The Chief Prosecution witness, Mr Michael Wekpas says the documents on the banking details of the Senate President are part of the Intelligence report handed over to his team by the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde.
But the team officially wrote to the bank (GTB) to get their own version of the documents.
This was aimed at verifying the authenticity of the document.
He added that the bank did furnish the team with the Account Opening Package and statement of account.
Mr Wekpas said they demanded for transaction instruments in the account, including telex transfer booklets which were all provided.
According to the witness, the request was made for three personal accounts belonging to the defendant.
The documents have been presented to him for confirmation.
The team has also asked for the loan request form concerning loans taken on the Naira account, which was also provided.
Among the documents forwarded is the loan offer letter of 300 million Naira, dated February 10, 2010, for the alleged purchase of a house in London.
Mr Wekpas alleges that a certain Abdul Adamma on one occasion deposited 10 million Naira into the Senate President’s account with GTB.
He also says that the Senate President through his company Carlisle Properties and Investment limited made a draft payment in favour of the Presidential Committee on Sales of Properties for the purchase of a property in Lagos.
The witness also alleges that there was a loan disbursement by the GTB on the sum of 200 million Naira, which preceded the draft made to the Presidential Committee on Sales of Federal Government property.
According to him, on October 16, 2006, the defendant allegedly obtained loans totalling 380 million Naira from GTB.
On the dollar account, several deposits were allegedly made on November 5, 2009 by different individuals.
On September 7, 2009 the sum of 59,964 Dollars was allegedly made by his company Carlisle Properties and Investment Limited.
While on May 19, 2009 a total sum of 10,000 Dollars was allegedly paid in three trenches, by different individuals.
Also on August 24, 2009 the sum of 99,975 Dollars was allegedly transferred into the account by one Bin Dahuuh.
On September 7, 2009 the sum of 49,969 dollars was allegedly paid by Carlisle Property and Investment Limited into the defendant’s dollar account.
The witness also claims that the telex transfer shows that transfers were made to the Senate President’s American Express Bank New York account to the tune of 3.4million Dollars.
On February 10, 2010 a loan of 375 million Naira was allegedly transferred to the defendants account for a purchase of a house in London.
The money according to him was later paid to a Bureau De Change which paid the equivalent into a dollar account.
On February 15, 2010, the sum of 153.900 million naira was allegedly paid to one Munigan Trading and Services Limited for conversion into Dollars.
He added that after the conversion to Dollars, the said amount was transferred to the Pound Sterling account.
According to him when the defendant became Governor of Kwara State, he declared that he had various foreign bank accounts.which include Coutts and Co Northern Trust International Bank and Fortis Bank.
He reminded the tribunal that the petition which brought about the investigation was the one submitted by Kwara Freedom Network titled Appeal to EFCC to investigate the management of the monthly revenue disbursement to the 16 Local Government in Kwara state from 2003 to 2011, which was submitted on June 7, 2012.
Meanwhile, 89 lawyers are representing the Senate President.
Another petition according to him was from the concerned Pensioners of Nigeria, Kwara State branch. According to him, four other petitions were also received from the Kwara Freedom Network.
During hearing on Tuesday the counsel to the Senate President, Mr Paul Usoro, had asked for an adjournment on the basis that an appeal had been entered before the appellate court.
The defendant filed a motion of stay of proceedings which is before the Registrar of the court, he told the Tribunal.
Mr Usoro said that the process of appeal had been transmitted to the CCT and the record of appeal was before the Tribunal.
He explained that the prayer for adjournment was to essentially allow the Court of Appeal to entertain and arrive at a decision in the appeal, which it had graciously fixed a clear date of April 26, 2016 to hear.