How ex-gov Lamido, sons laundered N1.3b, by EFCC
The ongoing trial of former governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido and sons continued yesterday with the prosecution witness, Mr. Michael Wetkas, giving details on how Lamido secretly awarded fake sub-contract awards as a decoy after laundering N1.3 billion state’s funds.
Lamido and his two sons – Aminu and Mustapha, are facing trial on a 27-count charge bothering on money laundering.
Wetkas informed the trial Judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, that investigations into the alleged fraud started since 2007 and spanned through 2015.
The witness, who was led in evidence by the Prosecution Counsel, Chile Okoroma, stated that the total sums laundered were paid from Jigawa State treasury into Dantata and Sawoe’s accounts in Access, Zenith and Sterling banks.
He further told the Federal High Court that three of Lamido’s companies – Gada Construction Company, Bamaina Company Nigeria and Speed International Limited, were supposedly awarded sub-contracts by Dantata and Sawoe from which the purported sum paid to Dantata and Sawoe were retrieved.
He added that all the cheques raised in favour of these companies were lodged in Bamaina Holding Company’s two separate accounts with Unity Bank, of which Lamido was sole signatory; and Access Bank account to which the third defendant (Mustapha Lamido) was sole signatory.
Giving details of some of the transactions, Wetkas, who was reading from bank statements stated that on December 16, 2008, N14.8 million, July 13, 2009, N386 million, December 11, 2009, N55.9 million, December 18, 2009, N583 million and February 6, 2013, N206 million were transferred into the three banks.
He added that the following transactions – February 26, 2013, N36 million, June 4, 2013, N194 million, June 7, 2013, N243 million, August 12, 2013, N140 million and August 12, 2013 again, N148 million, were transferred from Jigawa State’s treasury into Dantata and Sawoe’s Sterling Bank account.
Wetkas explained that these payments were executed by Dantata and Sawoe back into Gada, Speed and Bamaina companies.
Earlier, the court admitted a total of 250 payment vouchers as exhibits, which the defence counsel did not deny that the payment was made but he, however, opposed to detailling the evidence in oral form, stressing that such was against Section 125 of the Evidence Act.
Wetkas said that his investigating team visited Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company to investigate the purported contracts.
He also disclosed that a manager of the construction company, Mr. Sylvester Agoha, who had earlier agreed to have supervised the execution of the contracts later denied knowledge of any of the contracts, saying that the contract papers were only presented to him to sign.
He informed the court that his investigation had revealed that Lamido and his sons companies had allegedly supplied bitumen, iron rods and diesel to the Dantata yard in Kano.
The witness further stated that a member of his investigating team, Mr. Kabiru Mohammed, travelled to the Kano yard office of the company to verify the alleged supplies of bitumen, Iron rods and diesel.
The court has adjourned till today for continuation of trial.