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 N220million 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.
The offence is contrary to Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences, ICPC, Act, 2000.
At the last adjournment, February 8, 2021, Ijaya while being led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Sesan Ola, tendered five different statements of accounts in relation to the procurement of 13 ambulances and 13KVA Generators for General/Specialist Hospitals. However, Saraki’s counsel, Sulaiman Abaya, asked the Court for short adjournment to cross-examine the witness, saying he just took brief of the case and needed time to peruse the documents tendered.
The court graciously granted his prayers and adjourned till 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.
Further hearing in the case has been adjourned till April 24, 2021.