Thursday, 12 January 2017

Saraki’s Trial Resumes, FG To Call Second Witness Jan 17

The trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, over false assets declaration resumed yesterday at the Code of Conduct Tribunal with the prosecution promising to introduce the second witness at the January 17 adjourned date.

Lead prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) had applied for one week adjournment on the ground that his other witnesses, who were supposed to come from Lagos were not around yesterday to testify.

Consequently, Chairman, CCT, Danladi Umar, adjourned the matter till January 17, for continuation of trial.

At the resumed hearing yesterday, Wetkas told the tribunal that the Lagos State Land Registry did not have the record of existence of properties at 15a and 15b, MacDonald Street, Ikoyi, allegedly belonging to the Senate President.

Wetkas added that the Lagos Land Registry told his investigating team in writing that the record of the said properties was not in their record.

The witness, who was re-examined by the lead prosecution counsel, Jacobs, based on his earlier evidence-in-chief, admitted that EFCC based its assumption that Saraki owned the properties on the claim of a Presidential Committee on sale of the Federal Government-owned properties.

Wetkas said that the Presidential Committee informed his investigating team that Saraki bought the properties through a company, Carlisle Properties and Investment Ltd, when he was Kwara State governor.

Jacobs had re-examined the witness based on the contradiction and confusion on the identities of the properties linked to Saraki but the witness maintained that he did not go to the federal land registry to clarify issues on the disputed property ownership.

Evidence of Wetkas on May 11, 17 and 18 last year had raised confusion over which of the properties actually belonged to the defendant.

The prosecution also sought to clarify whether the $3.4 million alleged to have been transferred by Saraki included service charge. To this, the witness later owned up that it excluded service charge.

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