Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
First prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Mr. Michael Wetkas, continued his testimony on Wednesday, giving details of how his investigative team uncovered a property in London owned by Saraki.
Wetkas, who said he led a team which investigated intelleigence reports leading to the charges preferre against Saraki, is a detective with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
He said under cross-examination by defence lawyer, Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN), on Wednesday, that the London property was acquired by Saraki in 2010 but was not declared in his asset declaration form which he submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau after completing his second term as Governor of Kwara State in 2011.
He said Saraki obtained N375m loan from the Guaranty Trust Bank Plc in 2010 and used it to pay for the London property through a mortgage redemption payment system.
He said there was debit entry of $1.2m on the dollar account in favour of the pounds sterling account on February 10, 2010 and $1m on February 15, 2010.
He alleged that as contained in Count 11 in the charges preferred against the Senate
President, Saraki failed to declare in his asset declaration form which he submitted to the CCB in 2011, the N375m loan as his liability and the property which he allegedly used the proceeds of the loan to buy.
Wetkas who was led by Usoro to read from Saraki’s statements of account with with with GTB, traced the movement of the loan disbursed in Saraki’s naira account with its dollar equivalent transferred to his dollar account and finally its pounds sterling equivalent transferred transferred Saraki’s pounds sterling account.
He said foreign investigative partners “unofficially” disclosed the address of the property as No 8, Whittaker Street, London and that it had a title number NGN802235.
He said the foreign partners also disclosed “unofficially” that Saraki acquired another property with title numbe NGN 802661at No 7 of the same street in London in 2015.
According to him, his team of investigators, discovered Saraki’s reason for obtaining the loan in the letter by the GTB offering the N370m loan to the Senate President.
He also said the telex message also revealed that the transfer was for the purchase of a property.
Ade Adesomoju, Abuja