As the trial of former Oyo State governor, Alhaji Rashidi Ladoja and his former commissioner for finance, Mr Waheed Akanbi over alleged N4.7 billion fraud continued at the Federal High Court, Lagos, prosecution witness, Mr Waheed Atanda today insisted that he delivered the sum £600,000 to Bimpe Ladoja, daughter of former governor Ladoja while on an official visit to London.
Atanda stated this while being cross-examined by Mr Olumide Fusika, counsel to the former Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Waheed Akanbi.
Atanda who is the second prosecution witness to testify in the trial of Ladoja and his former Commissioner said he boundle- counted the money which was between 30 to 35 bundles before handing it over to Ladoja’s daughter.
Upon further questioning on the details of the money he received from a stock broking Firm, named McLace Security Limited, the witness told the court that though he cannot vividly remember the actual date but it was between April or May, 2007 and that his evidence was that the money given to him was given toward the expenses of Ladoja’s impeachment.
He also told the court that when it became obvious that the former governor did not want to pay him the money he spent to safe him from being impeached, he put up a publication in Tribune of June 4, 2008, to demand for his N185 million, which he had asked the former governor repeatedly.
He however stated that the money was paid to him by McLace Security Limited and Fountain Security that called him for the collection of the money, but said the two firms did not say they were sent by Ladoja or his former Commissioner.
The court however returned a document, which the defence intends to tender on the ground that the process of tendering the said documents does not conform with the Evidence Act.
The court therefore urged the defence to follow get the document certified according to Evidence Act, and retender it at the next adjourned date.
Consequently, Justice Idris adjourned till July 4, 2017, for continuation of trial.
Ladoja alongside his Commissioner for Finance, Akanbi, were arraigned before Justice Mohammed Idris court on eight counts 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 counts of the charge, the EFCC accused them of converting a sum of N1, 932, 940, 032. 48 billion belonging to Oyo State to their own, using a Guaranty Trust Bank account of a company, Heritage Apartments Limited.
The EFCC also claimed that both Ladoja and his former Commissioner for Finance retained the money sometime in 2007, despite their knowledge that it was proceeds of a criminal conduct.
Also, EFCC alleged that Ladoja removed £600,000 from the state coffers in 2007 and sent same to her daughter, Bimpe, who was at the time in London.
He was also accused of converting a sum of N42m belonging to the state to his own and subsequently used it to purchase an armoured Land Cruiser Jeep.
And a sum of N728, 600, 000 and another N77, 850, 000, at separate times in 2007 to his own.
The EFCC also 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 said the offences committed by Ladoja and Akanbi are contrary to sections 17(a) and18 (1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004, and punishable under sections 14(1), 16(a) (b) and 18(2) of the same Act.