Witness exposes Saraki, breaks down naira, dollar, pounds account transactions

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Micheal Wetkas, the first prosecution witness in the false asset declaration trial of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has revealed how Saraki operated three bank accounts and how transactions on those accounts were carried out.

Wetkas who explained that Saraki operated a naira account, dollar account and pounds account revealed how transactions were made in favour of a Presidential Implementation Committee and for acquisition of properties amongst other things.

Giving evidence at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Wtekas also revealed the people who carried out those transactions on behalf of Saraki.

Exhibit P7: Naira Account

Naira currency account which the defendant is sole signatory to. The first date of transaction on the account was 23, March, 2005 when there was cash lodgement of N10 million by one Abdul who was discovered to be PA of the defendant.

Wetkas said on 24 March, 2005, there was a cash deposit by the same Abdul of N8.2 million.

On 29 March, there was a transaction of N200,240m in favour of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Sale of Govt Properties. It was a draft for the purchase of property from the Implementation. Also, on 29, there was a loan disbursement of N200 million which preceded the bank draft.

On 16, Oct 2006, there was a disbursement of a loan of N380 million and the same day, there were 2 bank drafts in favour of the Implementation Committee combined in one transaction for the sum of N256, 312,815million- the total sum of the two drafts.

On 16, October, 2006, there was another draft of N12.8 million also on favour of the Implementation Committee. Wetkas said the drafts are meant for purchase of property from the implementation Commitee by the defendants. On 5, February, 2007, there was a loan disbursement by GTB into the account of the sum of N380 million.

How the Account was funded /Repayment of Loan

On 27, Feb 2007, there was a cash deposit by Josiah Samuel of N3 million. Then on 3 Apri, 2007, there was telegraphic transfer of N180, 625m. It was done on the instruction of the defendant as part payment for another property from the Implementation Committee.

On 05, Sept 2007, one Ubi made cash lodgments in five trenches for the sums of N11 million, N20 m, N20 m, 20m, and N6 million, making N77 m in one day. The account was in debit balance of N81, 960,289.12 before the lodgement. On 22, November, 2007, there was cash lodgement into the account by Abdul Adama in 50 different transactions making total of N45m. Before the lodgement, the account was in debit balance of over N80 million. On 29 Nov, there was also cash lodgements by Ubi in over 20 transactions and the total sum is about N20 million. On 4 March, 2008, there was cash lodgment by different individuals before then, the account was in deficit of over N96m. On I8, April, 2008, cash lodgements by several individuals with different names. On 23, Sept. 2008, there were several cash lodgments also by different individuals. On 30 April, 2009, there was a draft in favour BGL Assets Management Limited of the sum of N400 million. There were several cash lodgments by different individuals on that same day. There was a lodgment of N65 million on that day after which there a loan of disbursement of N400 million.

On 26, October 2009, there were cash lodgments by different individuals-87 lodgments in all. The money was deposited to defray the loans because the account was in debit balance.

The deposits were not made at once to beat the Money Laundering Law. Wetkas said even the bankers confirmed that was why the deposits were staggered.

He said his team demanded for the deposit slips from GTB and raised issues with the bank because there were no details of individuals who pay in the money.

Since there was no address on the deposit slips, we could not trace the depositors as the deposit slips were not filled in a normal way. But GTB defended itself by saying has since reported the transaction to NFIU.

On 5 November 2009, there was also cash lodgements by several individuals.

Exhibit P8: Dollar Account

Is the dollar account of the defendant. On 18 May, 2009, there was cash lodgement by Todimu of eight thousand dollars, on that same day, he loged in another eight thousand dollars. On the same 18, there was another lodgment on four thousand dollars by one Bayo, a banker. On the 19 May, there were deposit of 10,00 dollars each into the account. The last three deposits were made by the defendants himself. Then, there was a lodgement on 50,000 dollars on 12, June, 2009 by one Garba Dare. Then, 12 one 99, 925 dollars by one Din Dahuuh, a BDC. On 26 Aug 2009, there was 49,969 dollars by Carlie Property and Investment Ltd. On 7 Sept 2009, there was 59,964 dollars by the same company. The transfer to this account- the outflow were basically made to American Express Services Europe Limited.

Part of the outflows were to BDCs. From our investigations, the transfers from this account to American Express Services Europe Ltd account was up 3,400 m dollars. Part of the outflow also is to the Pound Sterling Account.

The foreign currencies were transferred to American Services Euro Ltd acct no 730580 and the beneficiary banks according to telex for transfer are American Express Bank, New York. One of the telex, used for a transaction on 25, Aug 2008 for the sum of 73,223.28 dollars was tendered.

Exhibit P9: Pound Sterling Account

There were six transactions, three deposit and three outflow of over one million, five hundred and sixteen thousand pounds.

The inflows were from the dollar account. Loan of N375million by GTB to the defendant on 10 Feb 2010, the purpose was for the purchase of property in London.

The loan was paid into the defendants personal naira account on 11, Feb 2010 and from the naira account, it was paid into the Bureau De Change which paid the equivalent in dollars to the dollar account.

On 12 February, the sum of 184,800m was paid to Sun and Sand Industries Ltd. on the 15 Feb, 2010, the sum of I53 million was transferred to Mumin and Services Ltd for exchange to dollars.

The money was transferred to the dollars account and was later transferred to Fortis Bank SA/NV for mortgage redemption. The beneficiary of the transfer in Dr. B Saraki.

Wetkas identified the petition sent to the EFCC by Kwara Freedom Network in which the group asked EFCC to investigate management of Kwara State account form 2003 to 2007. There were four petitions from the same organisation. Another petition is from the Concerned Pensioners of Nigeria, Kwara State branch.

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