The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission claimed on Thursday that a former governor of Oyo State, Chief Rashidi Ladoja, unilaterally gave instructions in 2007 for the sale of the state’s shares at a discounted rate of N6.6bn without an executive resolution.
According to the anti-graft agency, about N1.9bn out of the proceeds of the shares was not remitted to the state coffers.
Rather, the anti-graft agency claimed that the money ended up partly in the pockets of Ladoja, his family members, allies and some stockbrokers.
An investigator with the EFCC, Abubakar Madaki, stated this at the resumed trial of Ladoja for an alleged fraud of N4.7bn.
The former governor is answering eight charges alongside Waheed Akanbi, who served as the Oyo State Commissioner for Finance under him, before the Federal High Court in Lagos.
Led in evidence by the prosecutor, Olufemi Olabisi, Madaki tendered before the court the letter allegedly written by Ladoja to unilaterally approve the sale of the shares at a discounted rate.
The trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, admitted the letter as an exhibit in evidence against Ladoja.
According to the investigator, one Fountain Securities was the portfolio manager engaged by Ladoja to sell the shares at a discounted rate.
One McLace Securities, he said, was one of the stockbrokerage firms which acquired shares from Fountain Securities.
Madaki added, “In the course of our investigation, about N500m was recovered from McLace Security, Fountain Securities and other stockbrokers, while the balance could not be recovered because some of those who purchased the shares were not even stockbrokers as highlighted by the report of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
“Part of the proceeds was used to offset the four cars given to the first accused person (Ladoja), which he confirmed. That too, the first accused person has not refunded the value of the cars neither did his family members and associates refund what was given to them; all these were part of the proceeds.
“I can name the cars for clarity. There is a jeep; there are a bus and two cars out of the cars supplied to members of the House of Assembly loyal to the first accused when he was governor.
“All these were paid for with the proceeds of the shares. The first accused person confirmed this in his statement; he promised to make a refund then but as of today, he has not done so.”
Further proceedings were adjourned till May 30 and 31, 2018.
In the charges, Ladoja and Akanbi were accused of converting a sum of N1,932,940,032.48 belonging to Oyo State to their personal own, using a Guaranty Trust Bank account of a company, Heritage Apartments Limited.
The EFCC claimed that they retained the money sometime in 2007, despite their knowledge that it was proceeds of a criminal conduct.
In another instance, Ladoja was accused of removing a sum of £600,000 from the state coffers in 2007 and sent it to Bimpe Ladoja, who was at the time in London.
The ex-governor was also accused of converting a sum of N42m belonging to the state to his own and subsequently used it to purchase an armoured Land Cruiser jeep.
He was also accused of converting a sum of N728,600,000 and another N77,850,000 at separate times in 2007 to his own.
The EFCC claimed that Ladoja transferred the N77, 850,000 to one Bistrum Investments, which he nominated to help him purchase a property named Quarter 361, Ibadan, Oyo State.
The EFCC told the court that Ladoja and Akanbi acted contrary to sections 17(a) and18 (1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and were liable to be punished under sections 14(1), 16(a) (b) and 18(2) of the same Act.
But the defendants have pleaded not guilty.
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