A witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Michael Wetkas, has narrated how a former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, his two sons and four others allegedly used their companies to receive several payments suspected to be kickbacks from contractors.
Wetkas concluded his examination-in-chief in the ongoing case of diversion of public funds meant for projects in Jigawa State involving the ex-governor, his two sons, Aminu and Mustapha, and four others, Aminu Abubakar and Bartholomew Agoha, as well as their companies, Bamaina Holdings Limited and Speeds International Limited.
The defendants are facing amended 43 counts before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, for allegedly defrauding Jigawa State of N1.35bn.
At the resumed hearing on Thursday, Wetkas, with the aid of a chart, showed the court how Lamido allegedly received payments into his personal accounts from Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company, Interior Woodworks Limited and A.G Ferrero & Co Limited, who were contractors in the state via Bamaina Holdings Limited and Speeds International Limited accounts, which had him and the third defendant, Mustapha, as sole signatories.
According to a statement by the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, while Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company received over N21bn for contracts from the state, the duo of A.G Ferrero & Co and Interior Woodworks received over N8bn and over N3bn, respectively, for contracts they executed for the state.
Records, according to the witness, showed that A.G Ferrero paid over N114m into the Skye Bank account of Bamaina Company Limited.
It said, ‘’Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company also paid over N116m and N273,474,775, respectively into both the Access Bank and Unity Bank accounts of Speeds International Limited. He also noted that cheques totalling about N397,553,470 from Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company were paid into the Unity Bank account of Speeds International Limited.
“The witness also pointed out that cheques amounting to about N14.8m were paid into the personal account of the first defendant, while N48m was paid into Bamaina Company Limited, which has the first defendant as sole signatory.”
Wetkas concluded, “Flowing from the activities and investigations conducted, it was revealed that no sub-contracts or contracts for the purchase of bitumen, diesel and steel iron were executed by the defendants’ companies to warrant such payments.
“From the journals recovered from Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company, where the transactions were supposed to reflect if they were carried out, there were no entries for years 2007, 2008 and 2009. Meanwhile, within that period, over N500m was said to be paid for the purported sub-contract or contract.”
Justice Ojukwu adjourned the matter till May 19 and 20, 2021 for cross-examination of the witness.