Federal Government’s first prosecution witness, Mr. Michael Wetkas yesterday ended his three days testimony in the ongoing trial of the Senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on 13 counts of false asset declaration before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
Wetkas, who was led in evidence by the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), reeled out to the Danladi Umar-led tribunal the names of various companies operated by the Senate president while he was governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.
The prosecution had alleged that some of the companies were used by the Senate president to acquire properties which were allegedly not declared by Saraki.
The witness said the name of Saraki’s wife, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Saraki, featured as director in two of the companies – Carlie Properties and Investments Limited and Skyview Limited – using her maiden surname as Oluwatoyin Ojora.
But he explained that on inviting the Senate president’s wife, she denied having anything to do with the companies.
He said, “From our findings, the managing director of Carlie Properties Investments Limited, Mr. Kennedy Sule Izuabe, managed the company on behalf of the defendant.
“The defendant is the beneficiary of the rents paid for these properties.
“From Exhibit 25, our findings showed that one company, Babs Trading and Manufacturing Limited and Ojora Oluwatoyin, were directors in Carlie Properties and Investments Limited and later on Mr. Kenneth Izuabe was also added as a director in the company.
“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 Skyview, her name featured as a signatory to the account 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 Skyview.”
Wetkas is currently being cross-examined by the lead defence counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), on the trial.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar yesterday also held that he would not suspend the trial of the Senate president in defiance to the sitting of the Senate.
About 13 senators accompanied Saraki to the yesterday’s proceedings.
Umar had earlier before the proceedings began on Monday noted that the trial would proceed henceforth from 10am to 6pm on daily basis.
While adjourning the trial yesterday, Umar rejected a request by Saraki’s lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), for the tribunal to skip today, Wednesday, and Thursday which are the days of the week when the Senate sits.
The request was opposed by the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), who warned that the Senate should not be brought into the trial.
“The Senate is not on trial; the person that is on trial is the defendant. The Senate should sit. It’s a disgrace to our nation to be saying that.”
In his response, the tribunal chairman reiterated the same point, asking the Senate to continuing sitting while the Senate president is allowed to face his trial.
Umar said, “The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not on trial, the Senate should sit. The only thing is the personality of the defendant who happens to be the Senate president. The Senate should continue to sit.”
The trial was adjourned to today for cross-examination of the first prosecution witness, Mr. Michael Wetkas, by the federal government.

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