September 7, 2018

N4.7bn fraud: Ladoja bought 26 cars for ‘loyal’ lawmakers from govt account — Witness


Senator Rashidi Ladoja

LAGOS—A prosecution witness, Abubakar Madaki, yesterday, told a Federal High Court in Lagos that a former governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja, purchased 26 cars for 14 former lawmakers from the state treasury.

Senator Rashidi Ladoja

An Economic and Financial Crimes, EFCC, operative, Mr Madaki, gave evidence in the trial of Mr. Ladoja and a former Commissioner for Finance in the state, Waheed Akanbi, over alleged N4.7 billion fraud.

The defendants were arraigned before Justice Mohammed Idris on December 14, 2016, but they pleaded not guilty to the eight-count charge preferred against them by the EFCC.

The judge had earlier granted the two men bail.

At the resumed trial, Mr Ladoja’s counsel, Bolaji Onilenla, continued the cross-examination of the witness.

Mr. Madaki alleged that Ladoja had instructed the second prosecution witness, Wale Atanda, to buy 26 cars worth N80 million for 14 legislators in the House of Assembly who were loyal to him from the Oyo State Government’s account.

Mr Onilenla during the cross-examination asked the witness: “Take a look at Exhibit H25, the requested vehicle information for the cars, what is the date on it.”

The witness said: “It is dated 2005.”

Mr Onilenla further asked the witness to confirm that the transaction on the cars was unrelated to that of the sales of Oyo shares, to which he answered in the affirmative.

Mr Onilenla then asked the witness: “Are you aware that the vehicles were given to the legislators on lease?”

The witness said: “There is no statement showing they paid for them, only Ladoja paid N5 million when the bank began to request for the money.”

Mr Onilenla asked: “Are you aware that the legislators entered into agreements with VT Leasing Ltd., to pay for the cars in installments?”

The witness said: “I am not aware of any agreement.”

Mr Onilenla then sought to tender the agreement documents, all of which were photocopies except the agreement between VT Leasing Ltd., and Olayemi Busari.