The Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, today dismissed of a frivolous motion for adjournment brought by the counsel to accused person, Senate President Bukola Saraki, seeking to stop his trial over allegation on how he corruptly enriched himself while he was governor of Kwara state between 2003 and 2011.
When the trial eventually opened on Tuesday before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), the federal government’s prosecution counsel’s witness revealed how the senate president practically stole funds meant for the development of Kwarans to buy choice properties around the world.
Saraki, who is facing a 13-count false assets declaration charge, was arraigned before the tribunal late last year. The prosecution has been unable to open trial in view of the several huddles raised by Saraki, including challenging the CCT’s jurisdiction, the competence of the charge, the propriety of his trial before the tribunal, among others, up to the Supreme Court.
Despite the Supreme Court ruling last February, directing Saraki to submit himself for trial before the CCT, Saraki again objected to his trial, and applied for stay of proceedings, which the tribunal rejected today and directed the prosecution to open its case.
Prosecution lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) promptly called his first witness, who gave details of how Saraki allegedly siphoned Kwara State’s funds, while he was the state’s governor between 2003 and 2011.
The witness, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Michael Wetkas, who said he was part of the team that investigated the various petitions against Saraki, said investigation revealed, among others, that Saraki was aided by officials of Guaranty Trust Bank in the alleged diversion of Kwara State’s funds.
The first prosecution witness told the tribunal that Saraki used his domestic aides to lodge funds he allegedly looted from the Kwara State treasury, into an account he opened with Guarantee Trust Bank.
He said one of the aides, Abdul Adama, made cash lodgements 50 times on the same account to the tune of between N600, 000 to 900, 000 on a single day, while another domestic staff, simply identified as Ubi, made 20 cash lodgements into the same account in the same day.
The chairman of the tribunal Justice Danladi Umar has adjourned till tomorrow for the continuation of the trial.