We Borrow N80M For Lawmakers’ Cars To Fight Ladoja’s Impeachment, Witness Tells Court


As the trial of former Governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Rashidi Ladoja and his Commissioner for Finance Waheed Akanbi over alleged  N4.7billion fraud continued,  a prosecution witness, Mr. Adewale Atanda,  today told a Federal High Court, Lagos, that the Executive Council under the former governor took a loan of N80 million to save his impeachment.

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

Responding to questions from Ladoja and Akanbi’s lawyers, Atanda said, “on N80 million loan from Wema Bank, we had a discussion before applying for a loan, but when the loan went bad, WEMA bank visited Oyo State governor and the second defendant (Akanbi). The loan was borrowed through a vehicle called V. T. Leasing Limited and disbursement was made to the vendors of the vehicles which were collected by Oyo State government.”

He continued, “I used V. T. Leasing Limited to apply for the loan from Wema Bank, though, I am a shareholder with less than one per cent, but I used my goodwill to get the loan and I did not make any application. I did not know the condition attached to given the vehicles to the 14 members of State Assembly loyal to Governor Ladoja, but the vehicles were given out by the political actors in Oyo State and were collected by the Oyo State government’s drivers before being handed over to 14 Ladoja’s 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.”

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

He said his hotel known as Heritage Court and Inn, located at Plot 176, Moshood Olugbani Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, was completely shut down between December 2005 to December 2006, because Ladoja’s life was at risk.

Though he said there was no agreement that he will be pay back as no one ever thinks that Ladoja will return as governor.

He however stated that when Ladoja was reinstated as governor, he collected the sum of N633 million on the instruction of Ladoja.

Atanda also said he personally delivered the sum of £600, 000 British Pound Sterling to Ladoja’s daughter, Bimpe, in London.

He said he cannot remember the Naira equivalent of the Pound Sterling, but he changed the Naira from his Bureau de Change operator on three tranches.

He also told the court that he did not give the second defendant (Akanbi) a penny in all the monies he collected from Ladoja when he was returned as governor.

Justice Mohammed Idris has adjourned till May 25, 2017, for continuation of trial.

Ladoja alongside his Commissioner for Finance, Akanbi, have been arraigned before Justice Mohammed Idris on eight counts charge of money laundering, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The duo were accused of conspiring among themselves to siphon N4.7 billion from the coffers of the state and launder same.

In one of the charges, the EFCC accused them of converting a sum of N1, 932, 940, 032. 48 billion, belonging to Oyo State to their personal own, using a Guaranty Trust Bank account of a company, Heritage Apartments Limited.

The EFCC also claimed that the two defendants retained the money sometime in 2007, despite their knowledge that it was proceeds of a criminal conduct.

In another instance, Ladoja was accused of removing a sum of £600,000 from the state coffers in 2007 and sent it to Bimpe Ladoja, who was at the time in London.

The ex-governor was also accused of converting a sum of N42million belonging to the state to his own and subsequently used it to purchase an armoured Land Cruiser Jeep.

He was also accused of converting a sum of N728, 600, 000 and another N77, 850, 000, at separate times in 2007 to his own.

The EFCC claimed that Ladoja transferred the N77, 850,000 to one Bistrum Investments, which he nominated to help him purchase a property named Quarter 361, Ibadan, Oyo State.

The EFCC told the court that Ladoja and Akanbi acted contrary to sections 17(a) and18 (1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and were liable to be punished under sections 14(1), 16(a) (b) and 18(2) of the same Act.



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