Supposed N1.35bn Graft: How Ex-Jigawa Gov Sule Lamido Obtained Kickbacks for Contracts – Eyewitness

A eyewitness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Michael Wetkas ended his examination-in-chief in the current case of diversion of governmental funds proposed for projects in Jigawa State embroiling a former governor of the State, Sule Lamido, his two sons, as well as four others.

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Lamido, his sons; Aminu and Mustapha, Aminu Wada Abubakar, Bartholomew Darlington Agoha, their companies; Bamaina Holdings Ltd. and Speeds International Ltd. are facing an modified 43-count charge before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, for purportedly embezzling Jigawa State of N1.35billion.

At the continued hearing today, the eyewitness exposed to the Court how the suspects used their companies to drawseveral payments suspected to be kickbacks from contractors for contracts which were camouflaged as sub-contracts while Lamido was governor .

Wetkas, with the aid of a chart, revealed to the Court how Lamido drew payments into his secret accounts from Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company, Interior Woodworks Ltd., and A.G Ferrero & Co Ltd. who were contractors in Jigawa State via Bamaina Holdings Ltd. and Speeds International Ltd accounts which has him and the 3rd defendant, Mustapha, as sole signatories.

While Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company received over N21bn for contracts from the state, the duo of A.G Ferrero & Co Ltd and Interior Woodworks Ltd. 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 Ltd.

Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company also paid over N116m and N273,474,775.00 respectively into both the Access Bank and Unity Bank accounts of Speeds International Ltd. He also noted that cheques totaling about N397,553,470.00 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 Ltd which has the first defendant as sole signatory.

Wetkas concluded that “Flowing from the activities and investigations conducted, it was revealed that no sub-contracts or contracts for purchase of bitumen, diesel and steel iron, were executed by the defendants’ companies to warrant such payments.”

“From the notes recovered from Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company, where the deals were expected to be 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”, he concluded. 

In the meantime, Justice Ojukwu adjourned the matter till May 19 and 20, 2021 for cross-examination of the witness.

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