Micheal Wetkas, the first prosecution witness presented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission during the trial of Senate President, Bukola Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal revealed on Tuesday, April 19, that he knows nothing about the contents of the petition submitted as evidence against the defendant.
The said petition marked ‘Exhibit 11’ was written by a group known as Kwara Freedom Network, which accused Saraki of corruption and illegally deducting local government funds.
Saraki’s defence lawyer, Kanu Agabi took the floor of the courtroom to cross examine Wetkas at the resumption of the trial.
During the cross-examination, Wetkas revealed that he was not involved in the investigation of the petition he tendered to the tribunal as evidence.
Agabi asked Wetkas, an EFCC investigator, if he confirmed whether the local government funds were really deducted as alleged in the petition and he replied by stating that it’s ‘not part of the investigation I carried out’.
When the lawyer further asked if he was certain that the petition was addressed to the Code of Conduct Bureau, he said ‘I don’t work for the CCB. I wouldn’t know’.
Agabi further asked Wetkas if he knew whether Saraki was invited by the accountant general in terms of the illegal transfer of funds and the EFCC operative replied that: “I cannot say because I was not the one in charge of this” while he also denied knowledge of the petition being transferred to Saraki.
Wetkas also told the Tribunal that he did not meet the members of the Kwara Freedom Network after the petition had been filed because it was not part of his investigation and as such, he didn’t know if any members of the group were called to justify their petition because he only got involved in the investigation in 2014 while the petition was in 2012.
Wetkas also revealed that he had only ‘perused through’ the said petition and did not read it extensively.
This prompted Agabi to further query him that ‘when you tendered this document, did it occur to you that you will be questioned?’
The witness said: “This is not the aspect I investigated. Someone more competent than me will talk about it.”
Saraki’s lawyer, continuing with the cross examination further asked: “Did your perusal show that the asset declaration of the defendant was the issue,” which Wetkas answered with “I can’t remember seeing that?”
Wetkas also told the court that he didn’t know if any statement was obtained from Saraki to the effect of the petition.
Agabi said: “Did you obtain any statement from the defendant on this petition?” and the EFCC operative replied saying “It was not part of my investigation. I didn’t investigate this aspect of the petition. There are people who are more competent to talk about it.”
Again, Agabi asked a follow up question: “Exhibit 11 (the petition) is not addressed to the CCB. No action was taken for four years after exhibit 11 was received?” prompting Wetkas to declare “I cannot say that. I didn’t investigate exhibit 11.”
Wetkas, who has claimed to have little or no knowledge about the said petition which he presented before the Tribunal as evidence is the first witness of the prosecution.