Paul Erokoro, one of the lawyers of Senate President Bukola Saraki, caused stir at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Tuesday when he said his client was richer than the Kwara government before he became governor.
Erokoro said this while cross examining Michael Wetkas, a detective of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
However, his statement elicited the rebuke of Rotimi Jacobs, counsel to the federal government; the prosecution, who said that being rich does not stop a thief from stealing.
Wetkas admitted that the defendant was worth millions in dollars and pounds before he was governor. He said this was based on the assets declared by Saraki at the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) when he was elected governor in 2003.
“You realised that the defendant was required to declare his assets, those of wife and children below age of 18? What do you see in the (asset declaration form) form?” Erokoro asked the witness.
“Yes. I can see N1.5bn in the defendant’s account. And in the defendant’s wife account, N1.5m in Ecobank,” Wetkas answered.
“The defendant has some shares with African Petroleum worth N3, 645, 550.
“Cash amount of N1, 100: 000, in the name of Tosin Saraki and Seni Saraki.
“Then 16 vehicles: Mercedes, valued at N16m; Mercedes S 500, valued at N20m, Mercedes 500: 6m, Mercedes B 220, valued at N2m; Ferrari 456, GT, valued at 25m, another vehicle valued at N15m, Mercedez SM 20, valued at N8.5m, Peugeot 406, valued at 2.9m, another Mercedes valued at N9m, Mercedez E 320 valued at N11m; Mercedez 2 500, valued at N45m, Mercedez S: 500, valued at N30m, Lexus Jeep (bullet proof), valued at N30m, Lincoln Navigator (bullet proof) valued at N25mn.”
Saraki’s lawyer: “Would you agree that the defendant landed property was close to N3bn?”
Wetkas: “Yes. Over N2bn.”
Saraki’s lawyer: You agree that the defendant was worth about N4bn, $22m, 12 million Euros and 2 million pounds before he became governor.
“Yes. He was worth N4bn.”