Senator Bukola Saraki on Wednesday, May 25, returned to the Code of Conduct Tribunal, where he has been answering to allegation leveled against him regarding false asset declaration.
Senator Saraki at one of his appearance at the CCT.
The Cross-examination of star prosecution witness, Michael Wetkas, which has been underway for over a month, contined with tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar, having taken his seat at 12:20 p.m. No reason was given for this delay.
Michael Wetkas, a detective of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was absent at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
Rotimi Jacobs, lead counsel to the federal government asked that the court stall the trial for the witness to arrive.
Danladi Umar, the CCT chairman, however ruled that the court stands down for an hour for his arrival, subsequently adjourned sitting till 1:00pm.
The tribunal chairman is back on seat at 1:40pm., 40 minutes late.
Mr Wetkas arrived and the cross-examination has finally resumed.
Defence counsel, Paul Usoro, is questioning Mr. Wetkas on count number 6 of the prosecution charges.
The count has to do with a property located at Maitama, Abuja, which Mr. Saraki owned but allegedly failed to declare in 1993.
Mr Usoro is still leading Mr. Wetkas in cross-examination. The current issue is about a property Mr. Saraki allegedly purchased in 1993 but failed to declare in his assets declaration form in 2003 when he became governor of Kwara state.
There is a disagreement over where the property is situated and if Mr. Saraki owned it.
Usoro is grilling Mr Wetkas about if the property is at Plot 2481 Cadastral Zone or 2482 Cadastral Zone.
Wetkas read a letter from Abuja Metropolitan Management Agency which informed the EFCC that the property was transferred to Saraki using a power of attorney.
Usoro then attempted to ask further questions about the property, but the tribunal chairman weighed in: "You're making the records untidy," Mr. Umar chided Mr. Usoro.
Usoro said the power of attorney was made in 1993, 10 years before Mr. Saraki became governor. He said the power of attorney was issued between one David Baba Akao and Allied Properties Ltd, a company that Saraki allegedly owned.
Dino Melaye, Rafiu Ibrahim and seven other senators are here with their president for today's hearing, which makes is 21st day of the trial.
Saraki's trial, legal experts say, is one of the biggest in the history of Nigeria. The sitting on Wednesday, May 18, made it the 20th day the tribunal has sat on the Senate president's case.
Below is a run down of how that sitting went.
Mr Agabi entered the courtroom at 12:30 p.m., but Mr. Umar is not there to resume.
Justice Danladi Umar has taken his seat, an hour later than the 12:30 he adjourned to for Mr. Agabi to arrive.
The cross examination of Mr Wetkas then continued.
Defence counsel, Mr Usoro, is still poring through exhibits 8 and 9 as submitted to the court by Mr Wetkas.
The two are dissecting the documents which deal with Mr Saraki's transfer of funds from different accounts in both local and foreign currencies.
It's still part of the cross-examination stage of Mr Wetkas, an EFCC official who is the star prosecution witness.
Wetkas in his testimony on Wednesday, giving details of how his investigative team uncovered a property in London owned by Saraki.
Wetkas, who said he led a team which investigated intelleigence reports leading to the charges preferre against Saraki, is a detective with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
He said under cross-examination that the London property was acquired by Saraki in 2010 but was not declared in his asset declaration form which he submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau after completing his second term as Governor of Kwara State in 2011.
He said Saraki obtained N375m loan from the Guaranty Trust Bank Plc in 2010 and used it to pay for the London property through a mortgage redemption payment system.
He said there was debit entry of $1.2m on the dollar account in favour of the pounds sterling account on February 10, 2010 and $1m on February 15, 2010. He alleged that as contained in Count 11 in the charges preferred against the Senate president, Saraki failed to declare in his asset declaration form which he submitted to the CCB in 2011, the N375m loan as his liability and the property which he allegedly used the proceeds of the loan to buy.