Senate president, Bukola Saraki
Senate president, Bukola Saraki

Prosecution, yesterday, continued its case against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, with its first witness, Mr.
Michael Wetkas, revealing evidence of how the accused allegedly bought a property at 17, Mcdonald Street, Ikoyi, Lagos, in seven tranches.
This is as Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar yesterday directed that the trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki would henceforth proceed day to day from today till the end ‎of the case
The prosecution alleged in the 13-count charge that it preferred against Saraki that the property was part of those which the Senate president failed to declare to the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, while he was governor of Kwara State.
Lead Prosecuting Counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, through the witness, tendered cheques allegedly drawn from
Saraki’s personal account and the account of his firm, Carlie Properties and Investments Limited, for payment for the property. The various tranches totalled N522,060,000.
According to Wetkas, the property was bought in the name of Tiny Tee Limited from the Presidential Committee on the Sale of Federal Government Properties between 2006 and 2007.
The witness, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, said he was part of the inter-agency committee that investigated Saraki.
‘‘The part payment was from the GTB account of Carlie Properties and Investment Ltd. There is a draft before me for N256,300,000 which was part payment for 17, Mcdonald Street, Ikoyi, Lagos. There is another draft before me of N12,815,000 which was part payment for 17, Mcdonald, Ikoyi. There is another draft of a total of N24,090,000. That total is broken down into–N20 million from Zenith Bank and N4,090,000 from GTB. The total of the two are part payment for 17 Mcdonald, Ikoyi.
“The N20 million was from the Zenith Bank account of Carlie Properties and Investments Ltd, while N4,090,000 was from Carlie
Properties and Investment Ltd with GTB. There is another draft before me for N180,675,000 dated April 3, 2007. It was also part payment for 17 Mcdonald, Ikoyi, from the defendant’s personal account with GTB.
“I have another draft of N36,135,000 dated January 10, 2007. The draft was cleared in Carlie Properties and Investments Ltd’s
account in GTB and that also forms part payment for 17 Mcdonald, Ikoyi. There is another draft of N12,045,000 dated January 10, 2007.”
All the drafts were tendered and admitted as exhibits. Also admitted as exhibits among other documents was Saraki’s asset declaration form submitted to the CCB in 2011.
Earlier, the witness revealed how Saraki funded the property at 15 Mcdonald Street, Ikoyi, Lagos, which he allegedly declared as 15 A and B, Mcdonald Street, Ikoyi.
Wetkas, in his testimony of March 18, alleged that the Senate president declared that he acquired the property in 2003
whereas he only purchased it from the Presidential Implementation Committee on Sale of Federal Government Property in 2006.
The witness said yesterday, “Like I said my lord, the property at 15, Mcdonald Street, Ikoyi, Lagos, was bought from the Presidential Implementation Committee on Sale of Federal Government Properties.’’
We wrote to the implementation committee and they responded that the property is at 15, Mcdonald Street, Ikoyi,
Lagos, and another one, Block 15, Flat 1 to 4, Macdonald Ikoyi. They said these were the addresses they had with respect
to Mcdonald.
“75 percent payment for that property that I referred to which is N123,750,000 was paid from the account of Sky View Properties with Access Bank. Sky View was declared by the defendant as one of his companies. The implementation committee could not produce the draft. They said it was a Fidelity Bank draft and they have been trying to receive a copy, but they couldn’t.
“Access Bank too could not get a copy of the draft but they referred us to the account (Access Bank) where the draft was
paid. That was the account of Sky View Ltd with Skye Bank. They also furnished us with the statement of account, account opening packages and means of identification for the account.”
All the documents relating to the account were also tendered and admitted as exhibits.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar yesterday directed that the trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki would henceforth proceed day to day from today till the end ‎of the case.
He said the trial would begin at 10am and end at 6pm every day.
Justice Umar gave this directive at the resumed hearing in the case yesterday.
He said his decision to conduct the trial day to day was in line with the provisions of section 396(6) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
He gave the directive in response to a request for one hour stand-down by the lawyer who represented the prosecution Yesterday, Mr. Gabriel Esegine.
Esigine told the tribunal that the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, asked for the stand-down to enable him to appear briefly before the Court of Appeal in Abuja.
But in response, Umar, who was not satisfied with the request for stand-down, warned that the tribunal would no longer wait for anybody.
He said, “By virtue of 396 (6) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, criminal trial of a defendant after arraignment shall proceed day to day.
“This is what the tribunal intends to do. I’m saying this to both the prosecution and the defence; this tribunal will not wait for anybody.‎
“We will start by 10am till about 6pm till the conclusion of the case.
“For the benefit of those who want to pray, we will give a break for about 15 minutes. By 4pm we will give another 15 minutes break to enable people to stretch their legs.”
The lead defence counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), however, joined the prosecution in pleading with the tribunal to grant the stand-down.
The CCT chairman then reluctantly stood the case down till12pm.


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