An Abuja-based investigator of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abubakar Aliu Madaki, has told Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos that enquiries into the sale of shares belonging to Oyo State Government in 2007 are ongoing.
Madaki made the disclosure while testifying in the on-going trial of a former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja and one of his aides, Waheed Akanbi, over alleged N4.7 billion fraud.
Responding to a question from Ladoja’s lawyer, Bolaji Onilenla, the witness disclosed that investigations over the sale of the shares commenced sometimes in 2007.
“We started the investigation of this case around 2007. I cannot remember the exact month. Investigation was still ongoing around 2013 and 2014. It is still ongoing, requesting for documents even as at 2018.
“I left the EFCC towards the end of 2008 and I was posted to the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) Department of the police as an investigator. I came back to the EFCC early 2011 and that was why I commenced investigation into the matter in 2013”, Madaki said.
The witness insisted that it was the former governor that unilaterally approved the selling of the shares at discounted price contrary to what was agreed upon at the state executive council meeting.
He said: “A letter was prepared with deductions in the prices of the shares by the second defendant (Akanbi) for the first defendant’s (Ladoja) approval. That was what we investigated because it was illegal. It is only the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) that determines the price of shares.
“In the course of investigations, we did not found out that the state government was advised by its portfolio manager, Fountain Securities, to sell the shares at discounted price”, the witness said.
At Thursday’s proceedings, Justice Idris directed Ladoja’s lawyer to ensure that a statement written by the alter ego of Fountain Securities, Chief Kola Daisi, to the NSE, is certified before it is tendered as an exhibit.
Further hearing in the matter has been adjourned to June 25 by 1pm.
Some of the counts against the accused persons read as thus:
“That you Chief Rasheed Ladoja and Waheed Akanbi, sometimes in 2007, at Ibadan Oyo State within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court converted the sum of N1, 932,940,032.48, property of Oyo State Government, through the account of Heritage Apartments Limited at GTB, which sum you knew represented the proceeds of crime with the aim of concealing the nature of the proceeds of the said crime and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 14(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004.
“That you, Chief Rasheed Ladoja sometimes in 2007, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court used the sum of N728, 600,000.00 knowing that the money represented the proceeds of a criminal conduct with the aim of concealing the nature of the proceeds of the said crime and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 16(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004.
“That you Chief Rasheed Ladoja, sometimes in 2007, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court removed the sum of £600,000 from Nigeria and gave same to one, Bimpe Ladoja, in London knowing that the amount represented proceeds of a criminal conduct with the aim of concealing the nature of the proceeds of the said crime and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 16(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004”.