Saraki Alleged N220m Contract Scam: Defendant’s Counsel Cross-Examines EFCC Witness

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The trial of a former Special Adviser to the Kwara State Governor on Millennium Development Goals MDGs, Alhaji Ope Saraki continued on Thursday February 18, 2021 at the Kwara State High Court, Ilorin, with the cross-examination of the second prosecution witness, Ijaya Adedeji, by the defence.

Saraki, a cousin to the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, is being prosecuted by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly procuring a contract to the tune of N220 million through a company of interest. The contract involved purchase of 13 units of ambulances for General/Specialist Hospitals in Kwara State, and was allegedly acquired through Chemiroy Nigeria Limited.

TheFact Nigeria notes that the offence is contrary to Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences, ICPC, Act, 2000.

The last adjournment had been granted on 8 February, 2021 after Saraki’s counsel, Sulaiman Abaya, made the request, citing his need for more time to peruse the tendered documents as he had just taken brief of the case. Ijaya, while being led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Sesan Ola, had tendered five different statements of accounts in relation to the procurement of 13 ambulances and 13KVA Generators for General/Specialist Hospitals. The Court had graciously granted the defendant’s counsel’s prayers and adjourned until today.

 At the resumed sitting, Ijaya, a Business Development Manager in one of the new generation banks explained how a formal request from the EFCC with respect to the former SA MDGs and Chemiroy statements of accounts led to the supply of the documents.

The documents include: Ope Saraki’s statement of account; Kwara State Government MDGs account; Chemiroy Nigeria Ltd; Cogent Integrated Service Nigeria Ltd and McDrive Logistics & Institute Limited.

Under cross-examination, Ijaya told the court that all the contractors who supplied the 13 ambulances and 13KVA Generators procured in the year 2012 were paid by the Kwara State Government through their bank accounts.

When asked whether he was aware that his statement with the EFCC led to the filing of another charge against the defendant at the Federal High Court, the witness said he would make himself available to testify in the case if invited.

Meanwhile, further hearing in the case has been adjourned till April 24, 2021.

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