Revealed: How Saraki Made Cash Deposit of N600,000-N900,000 into GTB Account 50 times in one dayFeatured, Latest News, News Tuesday, April 5th, 2016
…Plus His Undeclared Properties on Code of Conduct Tribunal Form
By Ayo Balogun, Abuja
BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – As his trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over false asset declaration finally kicked off on Tuesday, a witness brought by the prosecutor revealed how the Senate President, Bukola Saraki’s personal aide made cash deposits 50 times in one day into Saraki’s Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) account, as well as Saraki’s oversea wire transfer to the tune of several millions of dollars.
The witness, Michael Wetkas, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), stated that Saraki’s aide, Abdul Adama, made cash lodgements 50 times on the same account to the tune of between N600,000 to N900,000.
He also revealed that Saraki, a former governor of Kwara state, wired about $3.4million abroad to fund his American Express Card account number 3745-882168-36009.
Wetkas also told the court that Saraki used several companies linked to him to purchase properties that worth billions of naira but failed to disclose them in his code of conducts forms.
Wetkas testimony goes thus:
“The defendant (Saraki) was the governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011. Shortly after the expiration of his second term in 2011, the EFCC received several petitions from various groups.
“One of them is Kwara Freedom Network. While investigating the petitions, the EFCC received an intelligence report in 2014 about some suspicious transactions relating to the defendant.
“On the receipt of the report, the Chairman (of EFCC) set up a team of three investigators, led by myself and two others – Chris Odofin and Nura Bako.
“Our finding on the intelligence report revealed that there were several companies, which are linked to the defendant (Saraki). Some of these companies include Carlisle Properties and Investment Limited and Skyview Properties Ltd, Tiny-Tee and several others.
“Some of these companies maintain accounts with GTB, Zenith Bank, Intercontinental Bank (now Access Bank Plc).
“We discovered that the defendant (Saraki) maintained three accounts with GTB, one a naira account, another is US dollars account and the third is pound sterling account.
“The accounts were analysed in the course of the investigation. The first account, which is a naira account, was analysed. And it was discovered that between 2005 and 2013, the account had total inflow and outflow of over N4 billion.
“We also discovered that the major source of inflow into the account was loans taken from GTB within the period. The loan disbursement into the account ýwas about N2.5 billion and other source of inflow into the account was massive cash lodgements by individuals. Other inflow was from Cailise Properties and Investment Limited.
“My Lord, it was also discovered that most inflows into the account was basically used for acquisition of properties.
“The dollar account was also analysed. We discovered that the major source of inflow into the account was from Cailisýe Properties and Investment Limited, which was over $2m. Another source of inflow into the account was from bureau de change companies, as well as cash lodgements by individuals.
“The total turnover of the dollar account between 2009 and 2013 was over $6m.
“The total inflow into the account we discovered that up to $3.4m was wired to American Express Services Europe Limited, which was used to fund the defendants’ American Express Service New York Card account number 374588216836009.
“The other part of fund into the dollar account was changed into pound sterling and also wired to UK to Fortis Bank for the purchase of a property in London. The amount wired was over £1.5m.
“Because of the suspicious inflow into the account with GTB, it became necessary to invite the bank officials.
“The reason for the invitation of the bank officials is because some of the individuals making cash lodgements into the account were staff of the bank.
“That was why we invited them. One Oluwa Sojimu reported to the EFCC. From our interaction with him, we discovered that the money he lodged into the account was given to him by his superior in the bank, and that superior is Mr. Bayo Abdulraheem Dauda. Dauda is the Relationship Manager of the account referred to.
“Upon our interaction with Mr. Dauda, it was discovered that the cash sums were handed to him for lodgement by the defendant, according to him, used to be called to the Kwara State Government House at Ilorin to collect those cash sums.
“The cash given to him were normally lodged at GTB located at GRA in Ilorin. From the lodgements, we discovered that one Ubi, who we don’t have his second name, on a single day, made five separate lodgements of N77m.
“We also discovered another name, Abdul Adama, who on a single day made lodgements 50 times on the same account. The sum was broken down between N600,000 to N900,000. Shortly after the lodgements by Adama, the same Ubi made lodgements on the same day 20 times in the same range of N600,000 to N900,000.
“We looked for Adama and invited him. He also reported and stated that the cash sums were handed over to him by the defendant and stated further that the sum that was lodged into the same account by Ubi was from him.
“Both Adama and Ubi were personal assistants to the defendant while he was governor. Adama was personal assistant to the defendant on domestic matters.
“After these individuals made the lodgements, the pattern of the cash movement changed. The range of the figure (N600, 000 to N900, 000) was still the same, but what changed was that this time several individuals were making the lodgements in large numbers on the same day.
“Further investigations revealed that those individuals were fictitious. The investigation team took up the matter with the bank and they said that they had done the needful by drawing a report and forwarding same to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), and they furnished evidence to that effect.
“We submitted our investigative report and findings. Based on that, the then Executive Chairman of the EFCC said since there were other teams investigating petitions against the defendant, he therefore directed that we harmonise the investigation.
“Analysis of the forms; some infractions were observed on some of the forms.
“We discovered that property known as 15 Mcdonald, Ikoyi, Lagos, which was purchased through a company, Hitel Limited, was not declared in the forms. We also discovered that 17A and 17B of Mcdonald, Ikoyi, Lagos was bought for aggregate sum of N497.2m in 2006.
Meanwhile, in a statement after the hearing, Mr Saraki said he was happy that trial has finally commenced. Recall that Saraki last year went up to supreme court and but failed to stop his trial at the code of conduct tribunal.
He is facing a 13-count false assets declaration charge.
The hearing continues today (Wednesday).
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