May 10, 2017

How N800m loan saved Ladoja from impeachment — Witness

lagos—Mr. Waheed Atanda, a prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of former Oyo State Governor, Alhaji Rashidi Ladoja, and his Commissioner for Finance, Waheed Akanbi, over alleged N4.7 billion fraud, yesterday, told a Federal High Court, Lagos, that the Executive Committees under the leadership of the former Oyo State governor, took a loan of N80 million to save Ladoja from being impeached.

Atande, a former associate of Ladoja, gave the revelation while being cross-examined by the lawyers representing Rashidi Ladoja and his Commissioner of Finance.

Responding to questions thrown at him by Ladoja and Akanbi’s lawyers, Atanda said; “On N80 million loan from Wema Bank, we had a discussion before writing for a loan, but when the loan went bad, WEMA bank visited Oyo State government and the second defendant (Akanbi).

“The loan was borrowed through a vehicle called V. T. Leasing Limited, and disbursement were made to the vendors of the vehicles which were collected by Oyo State government.

“I used V. T. Leasing Limited to apply for the loan from Wema bank, though, am a shareholder with less than one percent, but I used my goodwill to get the loan and I did not make any application.

“I did not know the condition attached to giving the vehicles to 14 members of State Assembly loyal to Governor Ladoja, but the vehicles  given out by the political actors in Oyo State, were collected by the Oyo State government’s drivers before handling them to 14 Ladoja loyalists at the State House of Assembly.

“There was an agreement between V. T. Leasing and the beneficiaries of the vehicles as a backup to the lease agreement.

Atanda further told the court that he guarantee the loan from Wema Bank, adding that when the loan from Wema Bank went bad, the bank met to the former governor and his Commissioner for Finance before coming to him”.

Furthermore, the witness also told the court that another N633 million he collected when Ladoja returned as Oyo State Governor, was part of expenses incurred when he shut down his hotel for one year to house Ladoja and his 14 loyal Assembly members, during the Impeachment saga.