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Abuja court admits “star witness” evidence in ex – Jigawa’s governor alleged N1.35 billion fraud case

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THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Friday presented its star witness Michael Wetkas, who gave a detailed account of how the Jigawa State former governor, Sule Lamido, allegedly laundered state fund worth N1.35 billion through his proxy companies.

At the resumed hearing at the Federal High Court in Maitama, Abuja, Wetkas revealed how Lamido’s companies, Speeds International Limited and Bamaina Holding Company, received several payments running into hundreds of millions into their bank accounts through cheques advanced by Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company between 2007 and 2013.

Lamido is currently standing trial alongside his two sons Aminu Lamido and Mustapha Lamido, others include Aminu Abubakar, Batholomew Darlington Agoha, Bamaina Holdings Ltd and Speeds International Ltd for their alleged role which was listed on the amended 43-count charge.

Wetkas who was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, M. S. Abubakar, disclosed that there were payments through cheques for N7,408,000 and 7,425,000 from Zenith bank account of Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company in favour of Bamaina Holding Company on March 5, 2013.

He also stated that on April 23, 2013, there were two cheques of N7,228,900 from Zenith Bank account that were raised in favour of Speeds International Limited which was paid.

Furthermore, Wetkas told the court that a sum of N9,450,000 was paid to Speeds International Limited on October 19, 2010, as well as several payments that were made from the UBA and the former Intercontinental Bank, (now Access Bank), accounts of Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company to the companies owned by Lamido.

The payment cheques were also tendered as exhibits by Wetkas, the prosecution witness.

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The presiding judge, Justice Ojukwu, adjourned the matter till April 27, 28, 29, 30 and May 4, 5, 6, and 7, 2020 for the continuation of trial.

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Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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