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How Ladoja paid daughter £600,000 from Oyo funds, by witness

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Rashidi Ladoja

A prosecution witness for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Adewale Atanda yesterday told the court how former Governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja sent £600,000 state fund to his daughter, Bimpe in London sometime in 2007.

Ladoja is being tried by the EFCC for an alleged N4.7b fraud committed while he held sway as governor. He is being prosecuted alongside a former Commissioner for Finance in the state, Waheed Akanbi.

The witness, who was Senior Special Executive Assistant to Ladoja told the court that the money was part of N634m which some stockbrokers contributed to forestall Ladoja’s impeachment.

According to him, the former governor had earlier instructed the sale of some shares belonging to the Oyo State Government to the said stockbrokers who later contributed N634m to his impeachment expenses.

The amount, Atanda said, was part of the commission and profit realised by the stockbrokers.

The witness said the money was delivered to him by the stockbrokers, adding that he had to first remove about N180m which he had earlier borrowed and spent on Ladoja’s instructions during the heat of the impeachment saga.

Part of the N180m, he said, was the N80m he obtained from Wema Bank Plc, which Ladoja used to purchase 22 vehicles for the state lawmakers to prevent his impeachment.

Another was a loan of N80m, which he (Atanda) obtained from Lagoon Savings and Loans for buying Ladoja a property known as Quarters 361, which the state government put up for sale.

Another N13.8m, which Ladoja used to buy two Land Cruiser vehicles for the state security personnel for his protection.

Atanda said having deducted the N180m which he borrowed on behalf of Ladoja, he distributed the balance of the N634m on his instructions.

Among the beneficiaries was Bimpe, to whom he delivered £600,000 in £50 bills in London in 2007 while Ladoja’s wife, Yinka also got various sums of N20m, N19.5m and $13,000 at different times.

Among the beneficiaries, Atanda said, were lawyers, who the witness said represented Ladoja in court.

Asked by the prosecutor, Oluwafemi Olabisi, under what circumstances the sum of £600,000 was paid to Bimpe, Atanda said: “The governor wanted me to pay the money into his account but I had difficulty doing it. I told him and he said he would ask his daughter to contact me. She did and I gave her the money.”

“The money was mostly in £50 notes. I put it in small suitcases and handed the money over to her in London in 2007.”

Atanda added that the N20m he gave to Yinka was probably what she had lent Ladoja during the heat of the impeachment.

On another occasion, “they were conducting local council elections in the state. So, on the eve of the election, I think money was required to be distributed to all the local governments. I was in Lagos, she (Yinka) called me and said the governor said she should collect N19.5m.

“Then there was a time she was travelling and I was told to send $13,000 into her account,” Atanda explained.

However, under cross-examination by Ladoja’s lawyer, Bolaji Onilenla, Atanda said neither Bimpe nor Ladoja gave him receipts or written evidence to acknowledge the payment of the £600,000 to the daughter.

Further proceedings were adjourned till April 12 and 13, 2017.


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