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Government & Politics

Witness Reveals How Saraki Purchased UK Property With Loan

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The prosecution of Senate President Bukola Saraki for false asset declaration at the Code of Conduct Tribunal continued on Wednesday, with the tendering of bank documents to the court by Micheal Wetkas.

Wetkas, who is the first prosecution witness in the trial is an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The prosecuting lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs asked Wetkas to reveal to the court how he obtained he documents that implicated Saraki from GTBank.

Wetkas told the court that some of the documents were part of the intelligence report given to he investigators by a former Executive Chairman of EFCC.

He further revealed that his team wrote to GTB to verify the details of the accounts, the account opening statement and other documents pertaining to Saraki.

Furthermore, the bank gave the investigators the account opening packages, statement of accounts as well as instruments for transactions in the accounts including telex transfer details.

Wetkas told the court that details of 3 personal accounts which belonged to Saraki were requested from GTB. Part of the request, he revealed, were the loans taken on the naira account of Saraki with number 0034967455.

Wetkas confirmed the bank’s cooperation include details on the USD account no 0034967479 and also pound sterling account 441441953/3/1/0 both belonging to Saraki.

The EFCC operative further told the court that an offer letter for a loan of N375 million whose purpose was for the purchase of property in London was forwarded to the agency.

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The letter, Wetkas revealed was dated 10 February, 2012.

According to Wetkas, some of the converted dollars from BDC’s and Saraki’s GTBank accounts were wired to American Express Services Europe Ltd with an alleged £1,516,000 wired by Saraki into his foreign account.

The investigation also revealed that N184million was paid to a decoy account on February 15, 2010 while N153million was transferred to another account before the funds were converted to pounds by Saraki.

He showed the court the EFCC’s letter of request to GTB on the dollar account as well as the bank’s response, telex transfer instruments and certificate of identification. He also presented the letter of request to the bank for details of Saraki’s pound sterling account as well as the bank’s response.

Rotimi Jacobs asked for permission to present the three documents before the court baring any objection from the defence counsel.

Agabi, Saraki’s lawyer told the court that if he were to raise objections to the documents, it will take the whole day.

He agreed that the documents be admitted but reserved his objection.


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