I gave N11 million to Ope Saraki – witness tells court

The trial of Ope Saraki, the former chief special assistant to the governor of Kwara state on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), began on Thursday.

The trial of Ope Saraki, the former chief special assistant to the governor of Kwara state on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), began on Thursday.

The prosecution called their star witness, Kunle Adimula, who testified before Judge Babangana Ashigar of the Ilorin Federal High Court.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had indicted Saraki on March 24, 2020 for alleged money laundering.

The cousin of the former Senate president, Bukola Saraki, reportedly raised a sum of N11,180,000 for some projects under the MDGs.

The sum exceeded the contract amount payable to an individual and was in violation of Sections 1 and 16 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act of 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 of the same Act.

Adimula narrated how the defendant received N11,180,000 in cash in 2019.

“My Lord, I am an employee of the Kwara State Government. I was sent to the SSA office on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Alhaji Ope Saraki. I have known him since 2012. On February 8, 2019, he ordered me to collect the sum of N11,180,000 from the Comptroller of Finance and Accounts, Ministry of Planning, Mr. Shiru Mohammed and deliver it to him. The instruction was carried out almost immediately, ”he said.

Adimula, presented as evidence by EFCC attorney Sesan Ola, recalled that he was issued a receipt after he delivered the money to the defendant, which he turned over to the CFA.

The witness was shown a copy of the receipt that he identified and presented as evidence by the prosecutor.

The document was admitted as Annex EFCC 1; his admissibility was not rejected by defense attorney Joshua Olatoke (SAN).

When asked if he knew that the project was budgeted for and approved by the Kwara State Assembly, Adimula said it was not within his power to know.

The case was postponed until January 13, 2021.

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