Tuesday, May 10, 2016 4:09 pm
Senate President Bukola Saraki had more than $62million in cash before he became the governor of Kwara State in 2003, his counsel, Paul Erokoro said during the cross examination of the first prosecution witness on Tuesday.
Erokoro listed Saraki’s cash asset as including, $22 million, £12 million,€2.6m and N4 billion, which using today’s currency converter amounted to $62million.
Saraki was also a director of Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria which crashed several years before he was elected governor.
Erokoro was trying to convince the court that Saraki who is being tried for false declaration of assets was a man of means before he became a governor and could have legally acquired the properties.
Summing up the properties and assets declared by the former Kwara State governor in the assets declaration form he submitted to the Code of Conduct Tribunal in 2003, Enakoro also said Saraki declared vehicles with total value of over N263 million before he became a governor.
The lawyer actually gave a calculator to the prosecution witness to sum up the values of the exotic vehicles listed in the assets declaration form which include a Ferrari worth N25 million, Mercedez Benzes, Lincloln Navigator and Peugeot cars.
However, Jacobs challenged Erokoro when he asked the prosecution witness to calculate the cost of assets declared by Saraki in the form.
“My Lord this is relevant, because the man is rich, he cannot steal,” Erokoro said in response to the protest by the prosecution counsel.
“The rich are the ones that have the propensity to steal more,” Jacobs replied.
Erokoro subsequently accused the prosecution of conducting media trial and submitting evidence that are not relevant to the court.
The Chairman of the Tribunal however moved in to calm nerves.
But this was not the only sparks between the lawyers as the cross examination of the first prosecution witness continued.
Jacobs accused the defence lawyers of asking hypothetical question when he asked Wetkas if he believed the Code of Conduct Tribunal should have verified the assets declared by Saraki in the forms filled by the former Governor.
But the defence insisted that the questions are proper, saying he will only listen to Jacobs when he gets a job at the Law school.
The defence lawyer who said going by Evidence Act, he can ask the witness questions to test his intelligence, how he reasoned, who is he and so on declared that the trial is “War.”
To which Jacobs replied, “We are ready for you.”
Wetkas during his cross examination declared that the assets declared in 2003 by the Senate president were ‘anticipatory’, something he expected to have in office.