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Saraki received salaries after leaving office as gov, witness insists

The star prosecution witness, Michael Wetkas, in the trial of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, over false assets declaration, on Tuesday, insisted that the Senate President  continued to receive salary from the Kwara State government’s coffers four years after he ceased to be governor of the state.

The witness stated this while being cross examined by Paul Usoro, one of the counsels representing Saraki in the matter before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Tuesday’s proceedings ended a 14-day long cross-examination of the first prosecution witness which spanned over five months.

Usoro told the Danladi Yakubu Umar-led two-member panel that the defence had ended the cross-examination of the witness after about 30 minutes of further cross examination and added that  the length of the cross-examination by the defence was not to buy time or delay proceedings, but was dictated by the complexity of the case.

The lead prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, had at the proceedings on Monday, complained that the defendant was taking much time on the cross-examination, which started in June this year.

However,  while responding to a question, Wetkas said he did not investigate the account of Kwara State government and confirmed that he did not speak to the defendant throughout his investigation.

While adjourning the matter, the chairman of the tribunal, Danladi Umar, said the tribunal would not be able to continue with the case this year because of its busy schedule.

Umar Mohammed, who stood in for the lead prosecution counsel at Tuesday’s proceedings had earlier prayed the tribunal for an adjournment to enable the prosecution to prepare for the re-examination of the witness.

The tribunal adjourned the matter to January 11, 2017 for possible re-examination of the witness by the prosecution and continuation of trial.

The Federal Government had slammed a 13-count charge, bordering on false and improper declaration of assets allegedly acquired when the Senate President held sway as governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011.

The Senate President pleaded not guilty to the entire charges preferred against him by the Federal Government.