CCT Trial: Saraki Lied Over Lagos Property -Witness

CCTThe trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki entered its 13th day today at the Danladi Umar-led CCT.

Prosecution witness Michael Wetkas said Saraki’s claim that he bought a Lagos property located at 17A and B, McDonald Street, Ikoyi, Lagos, with proceeds of sale of rice and sugar was false.

Wetkas was being cross examined by the defence. He disclosed that the Senate President acquired the property with proceeds of loans he obtained from GTBank.

Saraki is being prosecuted by the Federal Government before the CCT on 16 counts. They include alleged false and anticipatory asset declaration he made as Kwara State Governor.

False Claims?

Defence Counsel, Paul Usoro (SAN), had asked Wetkas to read from the various asset declaration forms completed by Saraki. The documents had earlier been admitted by the CCT as exhibits.

Saraki had declared that he acquired the property in 2006 and five others in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1996 and 2000. They were all purchased with proceeds of sales of rice and sugar. This was after his second term in office in 2011. Meanwhile, he earlier declared that he acquired the properties through loan worth N497m after his first term in 2007.

The witness explained that the loan initially obtained was structured to be paid quarterly in five tranches. But, governor then, he was obtaining additional loans from the bank which led to the subsequent restructuring of the loan.

 The defence lawyer also asked Wetkas to read from the GTBank statement of the senate president from 2005 to 2015. The bank statement was earlier admitted by the CCT as Exhibit 7.

Wetkas Statement

Wetkas confirmed that Saraki obtained three loans in the sums of N380m, N380m and N400m in connection with the properties.

“In 2006, the balance was N9,779,109. 79m before the loan was credited. This first loan taken was used to pay the one before. The loan amount was N380m.”

“What the property was used to buy was worth N256.3m. There was 5% charge translated into N12,815,000. It was liquidated on February 5, 2007.”

“When the loan was liquidated, it took the balance to a debit balance of N231,552,804.93. Then another loan was taken of N380m on the same February 5, 2007. The second loan was taken to defray the debit. It now gave a credit balance of N98m.”

“As of the 2007 declaration, there was debit outstanding of the loan of up to N300m. It was not declared in 2007. There were other inflows into account the purposes of paying.”

“On August 27, 2009, the balance on the account showed an inflow into the account of N100m through banker’s cheque. On July 31, 2009, it shows that the account was in debit of about N93,933,654.15.

“After the inflow of N100m on August 27, it went into credit balance of N6,066,345.6. On April 30, 2009, the account was in debit position of N17m. The on the same date, there was loan disbursement of N400m.”

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