More revelations into the alleged corrupt dealings of Senate President Bukola Saraki came to light, on Monday, during his false assets declaration trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
According to the first prosecution witness, Michael Wetkas, Saraki had failed to declare houses owed by him in Ikoyi, Lagos, Abuja and in the UK.
Wetkas informed the tribunal that Saraki had purchased three landed properties from the Presidential Implementation Committee on Sale of Federal Government Properties going against a government policy that only one asset can be acquired by each individual.
The witness also named several companies owned by the Senate President – which he also failed to declare in his asset declaration form when he became Governor of Kwara state.
Here are the 6 new things disclosed by the prosecution witness to the court:
1) Saraki unfairly purchased three properties from the federal government instead of one as specified by government policy
The Prosecution witness said: “We invited the members of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Sale of Federal Government Properties. From our findings, one person is only allowed to acquire one property under the scheme. But the first defendant got three properties using his personal name and the name of his company.”
“No 15 Mcdonald Street, Ikoyi, was got in the name of the defendant’s company, Tiny Tee Limited and 17, 17A and 17B were got in his personal name.”
2) Saraki failed to declare three properties in high brow areas in Abuja
Wetkas told the CCT that: “Exhibit P21 relates to Plot 2481 and 2482, Cadastrial Zone A06, Maitama, Abuja, otherwise known as 1 and 3 Targus Street, Maitama, Abuja. From Exhibit 21, they were acquired in 1993.
“From Exhibit 1, under Appendix 3 (details of landed property in Nigeria), I did not see the property. The defendant did not declare Plot 2481 and 2482, Cadastrial Zone A06, Maitama, Abuja, on assumption of office in 2003. Neither did I see No 1 and 3 Targus Street, Maitama, Abuja, in the asset declaration form.”
“Exhibit 3 is the asset declaration form in 2007. In 2007, the defendant declared 1 Targus Street, Maitama, Abuja. Number 3 was not declared. In the asset declaration form of 2011, No. 1 Targus, Musa Yar’ Adua was declared. He did not declare No 3 Targus Street, Maitama.”
3) The Senate President purchased properties in the UK
Led in evidence by the prosecution lawyer, Wetkas told the tribunal that Saraki had in February 11, 2010, obtained N375m loan from Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) with which he purchased a property in London.
He also failed to declare the London property.
“Sometimes in February 11, 2010, a loan of N375m was availed to the defendant by GTB.”
“Exhibit 7 is the offer letter for the loan for him to borrow N375m. The offer letter was dated February 10, 2010, but was disbursed to the account on February 11, 2010 for the purchase of the property in London. I did not see anywhere it was declared in the asset declaration form dated June 3, 2011.”
4) Saraki owned several undeclared properties in Lagos
The witness listed some of the properties owned by the Senate President in Lagos that were not declared in his asset form.
“Exhibit 19 is the search warrant executed on the premises of Carlie Limited in Lagos.
“A list of some of the properties belonging to the defendant was obtained from the office of Carlie Properties in Lagos. On the list we have:
“Ruston Garden, Ikoyi, Lagos, divided into nine sub-units of properties. Each of them is yielding a total of N14m. The total income from that property alone is N126m per annum. The property at 37 Glover Road, by the record, was yielding N5,500,000 per annum.”
“Exhibit 4 (asset declaration form made in July, 2015) there is column for farm, ranches, orchards, factory. But nothing was declared.”
5) Saraki conducted several transactions using several banks for the purchase of undeclared properties
Evidence to support his testimony was tendered by the prosecution. The evidence which was a cheque allegedly drawn from the personal account of Saraki and that of his company, Carlie Properties and Investments Limited, for purchase of the said properties.
Wetkas stated that: “The part payment was from GTB account of Carlie Properties and Investment Ltd.
“There is a draft before me for N256,300,000, which was a part payment for 17, Mcdonald Street, Ikoyi, Lagos. There is another draft before me of N12,815,000, which was a part payment for 17, Mcdonald, Ikoyi.”
“There is another draft of a total of N24,090,000. That total is broken down into. – N20m from Zenith Bank and N4,090,000 from GTB. The total of the two are part payments for 17 Mcdonald, Ikoyi.”
6) The Senate President’s wife was a director in Saraki’s companies
The witness further revealed that the Senate President’s wife, Oluwatoyin, was a director in two of the companies -Carlie Properties and Investments Limited and Sky View Limited.
However, Oluwatoyin is said to have denied being involved in the affairs of the company.
“From our findings, the Managing Director of Carlie Properties Investments Limited, Mr. Kenedy Sule Izuabe, managed the company on behalf of the defendant.”
“The defendant is the beneficiary of the rent paid for these properties.”
“From Exhibit 25, our findings, one company, Babs Trading and Manufacturing Limited, and Ojora Oluwatoyin were directors in Carlie Properties and Investments Limited and later on Mr. Keneth Izuabe was also added as a director in the company. The people mentioned are both directors and shareholders.”
“Babs Trading and Manufacturing Limited is also linked to the defendant.”
“Ojora Oluwatoyin is the wife of the defendant. We invited her in the course of the investigation. The reason was because, from the statement of account of Carlie Properties and Investments Limited, and Sky View, her name featured as a signatory to the accounts of the companies. We called her to clarify some transactions and she said she did not participate in the activities and disbursements from the accounts of Carlie and Sky View.”