A prosecution witness, Abubakar Madaki, on Wednesday, told a Federal High Court Lagos, that series of investigations were conducted on fraud allegations against former Oyo State Governor, Rasheed Ladoja.
Madaki, an operative with the Economic and Financial Crimes, testified at the resumed trial of Ladoja and a former Commissioner for Finance in the state, Waheed Akanbi, standing trial over N4.7 billion fraud.
The accused were brought before Justice Mohammed Idris on Dec.14, 2016, but they pleaded not guilty to the eight-count charge preferred against them by the EFCC.
The judge had then granted them bail.
When trial resumed on Wednesday, the prosecution counsel, Oluwafemi Olabisi, continued examination of Madaki.
Olabisi asked: “In the course of your evidence you made reference to separate investigations conducted by the stock exchange; so take a look at these document and tell the court what it is.”
In response, the witness told the court that the document represents one of those evidences received at the stock exchange during investigation.
He said that when the accused claimed that the Oyo State shares were sold in bulk, the commission decided to embark on investigations to determine if the shares were actually a bulk sale.
He said that the commission discovered that the stock exchange was also investigating the matter and making recoveries.
He added that when they discovered that the commission had taken over the case, they remitted their recoveries to them.
According to him, the EFCC also discovered that quarter 361, a residential apartment, was purchased by one Atanda on behalf of the first accused, with the proceeds of shares from Heritage Apartments.
The witness further told the court that investigations were extended to the Corporate Affairs Commission, to unravel the identity of another company named Bistrum Investment Ltd, which was also used in the transfer of Oyo State funds.
He said that although the first accused denied personal knowledge of Bistrum, he however, confirmed knowledge of one its directors who he said was his cousin.
The witness said that further investigations confirmed that Atanda’s account in Lagoon Homes, which also received part of the shares proceeds from stock brokers, was issued a bank draft of N70 million.
He told the court that there was also a letter from Oyo State Government dated September 6, 2015, to the commission, requesting for the recovered funds from suspects who had bought the shares and were making returns.
Justice Mohammed Idris has adjourned until May 31 for continuation of trial.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the accused were charged with conspiring to siphon and launder N4.7 billion from the coffers of Oyo State Government.
The EFCC also accused them of converting N1.9 billion belonging to the state for their personal use through the account of a company known as Heritage Apartments Ltd.
The anti-graft agency claimed that the accused retained the money sometime in 2007 in spite of their knowledge that it was proceeds from a criminal activity.
Ladoja was accused of removing 600,000 pounds from the state coffers in 2007 and sent to his daughter, Bimpe, in London.
In addition, the ex-governor was accused of converting N42 million belonging to the state for his personal use and subsequently used same to purchase an armoured Land Cruiser.
The EFCC added that Ladoja converted N728 million and N77 million at different times in 2007 for his personal use and transferred same to Bistrum Investments for the purchase of a property in Ibadan.
The offences contravened the provisions of Sections 14, 16, 17 (a) and 18 (1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004, according to the EFCC.