Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, alleged before the Code of Conduct Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Tuesday that his assets declaration form of 2003 has been tampered with, saying that was why the original copy of the form was not presented before the tribunal.
Saraki is standing trial for alleged false declaration of assets while he was the governor of Kwara state.
At the resumed trial, counsel to Saraki, Paul Erokoro, SAN, made the claim while cross-examining the prosecution witness, Michael Wetkas.
Under cross examination, Wetkas was asked whether he saw the original copy of exhibit 1 which is Saraki’s assets declaration form in the cause of investigation.
Wetkas initially stated that he never saw the original copy but on second thought, he reversed himself and said he sighted the form from one Samuel Majemu of the Code of Conduct Bureau.
When asked why the original copy of the form was not brought before the tribunal, he stated that he always worked with the Certified True Copy furnished by the CCB because it was a replica of the original and it served the same purpose.
It was at that point that Erokoro submitted: “Whoever is prosecuting the defendant is hiding something by not bringing the original copy before this tribunal. If it is important for the investigative team to see the original, then why is it not important for the tribunal to see it?” he asked.
Wetkas however denied the allegation, saying the form was filled and signed by Saraki before a competent judge.
When the witness was asked if he was aware that the assets declaration form submitted by Saraki in 2003 was tampered with since it contained some entries of properties that were not put on sale by the federal government until 2006,
Wetkas said,”as far as I am concerned, exhibit one was signed by the defendant himself on September 16, 2003″.
Also when asked if he inserted No. 15a and b McDonald Street, Ikoyi, he denied.
When also asked if he knew who did it, the witness stated that, “theCode of Conduct Bureau is a responsible organisation and he would not believe it would have done that.”
Still under cross examination, the witness admitted that the defendant was worth $22m, £12m, €2.6m and N4bn in cash, movable and landed assets before he became Governor of Kwara State in 2003 as it was contained in his assets declaration form of 2003.
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