*Fails to link Senate president to London properties
THE primary prosecution witness, Mr. Michael Wetkas, in the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) trial of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, may have created another major pothole for the federal government’s prosecution team, as he stated on cross-examination on Wednesday that there was insufficient evidence to sustain Count 11 of the 16 paragraph indictment against the Senate President.
Paul Usoro (SAN), who led the cross-examination of Wetkas at the proceedings, steered Wetkas through a series of questions to try to figure out how the Federal Government arrived at its conclusion to bring Charge 11 against Saraki, a former two-term Governor of Kwara State.
Wetkas, who is also an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the lead witness in the case, admitted that he never asked the defendant about the mortgage alluded to in Count 11, and neither did he see the mortgage agreement to confirm the ownership of the property in question.
The EFCC witness also admitted to the fact that no current evidence shows the location and/or description of the property referred to in Count 11 (No. 37 A Global Road, Lagos) as he was not entirely sure if the Global Road in question was in Ebute Meta, Lagos or Ikoyi, Lagos.
Wetkas also told the Code of Conduct Tribunal that he has no official documents linking the Senate President to the ownership of London properties over which he (Saraki) is facing trial.
Wetkas made the confession during cross-examination by the defence counsel Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN), when he said the prosecution only obtained unofficial information of the London properties from their foreign partners in London.
He said the partners promised to oblige them with the official documents of the properties, but they are yet to do so.
“In our investigation, we normally receive unofficial information from our foreign partners” he said.
The EFCC witness also informed the tribunal that Saraki used the N375million obtained from GTBank to buy House No. 7 and 8, Whittaker Street, London in 2011 and 2015 respectively.
He said the tilled number of the House No. 8, was NGL802235 and the second property Number was NGL802661.
The witness said he had requested GT Bank to oblige him with the details of the properties and the address.
He said, the bank told him that the addresses of the properties were not disclosed to them.
Wetkas said from the loan documents attached showed that the N375miilion loan collected by Saraki from GT Bank and the narration indicates that he used the said money to buy properties in London.
“When we see the statement on the mortgage redemption transfer telex, we are convinced that the defendant used the funds to acquire property in London,” he said.
However, EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs SAN, lamented the pace in which the defence was handling the case.
Jacobs accused the defence of attempting to confuse and demoralise the witness.
The Chairman of the tribunal, Mr Danladi Umar, adjourned the case till May 25 for continuation of cross examination.