Danladi Arrived Rotimi Jacobs still absent

Kanu Agabi making a case that the defense counsels have always arrived earlier than time

Rotimi absent in court

A member of his team says he will be here in 40 minutes

Umar: we will have to give the lead counsel an opportunity, at least 30 minutes from now

Agabi: we can even give him 1 Hour

We will give him an hour, Justice Danladi rules

Defense counsel making introduction

They just adjourned the case of Rasheed Taiwo

Till the 26th of May

There was no major application or submission by his lawyers

Keep in mind that Rasheed Taiwo is the Customs Officer that accused Dan Ladi Umar of asking for N10million


Wetkas steps into the duck

Agabi: I could beg you on my kneels to adjourn till tomorrow.

Generations to come will see the record that Rotimi came late meanwhile hr didn’t, he was at the Supreme Court…

Agabi: tomorrow, I will also be at the Supreme court

Agabi is establishing a case for the free-flow process of trial

NO to everyday-trial!

Agabi: We must be respected. Otherwise we will be discouraged…. “We need adjournment so that we can go to another court.”

Danladi: I would have asked that we proceed with the cross examination today…

Agabi: cites a case which was adjourned for 3 years

2nd judge spotted speaking to Danladi. He appears pleading to him

Danladi: let’s proceed pls

Usoro takes over. “I’m focusing on count 1,” he says as cross examination resumes

Rotimi: this one witness has spent 2 weeks

Danladi: why are you insisting on count one

Usoro: the prosecution is entitled to object if I’m raising irrelevant questions.

I can even record the witness if I so wish

Usoro: I have not asked questions on count 1

Usoro: I won’t repeat the things that were said yesterday

Usoro: I will be the only one to handle today

Agabi: when the prosecution started this case, would he has said you must conlude so so so issue so so day?

Agabi: Rotimi was with me when I was…. I’ve served as a witness for the government. I was cross-examined Monday to Friday.

Danladi: i will insist the trail continues daily. Let’s expedite the trial and we don’t repeat an issue trashed earlier before

Usoro takes over, starts examination from count 1

Wetkas : like I said yesterday, we wrote to the relevant authorities in lagos on the ikoyi properties

Usoro: did you establish that 15 A & B  MacDonald are the same as No Block 15 Flat 1-4 during your investigation?
Wetkas: the investigation we conducted established that

Usoro: okay. We will take that
) Wetkas: anything we brought before this court was derived from the authority by the custodians of those properties

Wetkas : like I said yesterday, we wrote to the relevant authorities in lagos on the ikoyi properties

Usoro: just asked Wetkas if he came across anything ‘energy marine’ in the asset deflation form of the defendant. He said no. “That’s why it was not part of our investigation.”

Usoro: what is being claimed here is that 15 A & B MacDonald and 15 MacDonald existed and are privately owned . correct?

Wetkas: That’s what the letter says.

Usoro asks that the letter of page 119 should be read again for emphasis

Usoro: the letter emphasised that all the properties are privately owned?

Wetkas : Yes.

Usoro: did you see this letter during your investigation?

Wekas: Yes

Usoro : did you go to 15 A & B and No 15?

Wetkas : My men went to Lagos. They went to MacDonald.

Usoro: that is not the question

Usoro: did your men go to that particular property? Did they give you report?

What did they find?

Wetkas: they are in the best position to state what they found. I can’t speak on it

Usoro: yesterday, you referred to a report put together by the EFCC. It’s on page 189 of the proof of evidence

Wetkas who stated claims in his exhibit that the house belongs to the defendant couldn’t (in summary) prove it. When asked for evidence, he said he’s not in the best position to answer the question holding that other team went to the venue… Not him!

Usoro: Have you seen the joint report dated 28th July, 2006.

Wetkas: That’s correct

Usoro: Please go to page 192

Usoro: Page 192 shows the joint team has written something regarding 15 A & B MacDonald?

Wetkas : Yes

Usoro: Please read it.

Wetkas reads that the property in question has been verified and that it is privately owned

Usoro: Michael please keep that joint report aside and help me go to page 4 of Exhibit 14

Usoro: Page 4 of Exhibit 14 is the offer letter to Tiny T. Correct?

Wetkas: That’s correct

Usoro: That letter is dated 23rd of September 2006. That is when Tiny T was offered d property?

Wetkas : That’s correct

Usoro: what is the date of the joint report from your investigation team?

Wetkas: 28th July, 2006.

Usoro: what is the date of the joint report from your investigation team?

Wetkas: 28th July, 2006.

Usoro: Please read the first and second paragraphs on the letter

Wetkas reads that the letter is from Egwuagu and written in 21/6/ 2008.

The letter being read by Wetkas said that Egwuagu packed into the property in 1994

Usoro reads out the first paragraph of the letter from Egwuagu on Page 190.

The letter showed that Energy Marine Resources was the highest bidder of the property

Usoro continues reading that Egwuagu wrote that as at 2008, no body has approached him to buy the property

Usoro : That’s number 15 MacDonald?

Wetkas : Yes

Usoro : there’s nothing in the report of your team that mentioned that 15 A & B MacDonald was occupied by Egwuagu?

Wetkas : there is nothing in the report that said that

Usoro : Yet they said it was owned by the defendant?

Wetkas: Yes

Usoro explains to Justice Umar what he has asked Wetkas whether anything in his report of 2006 mentioned Engr Egwuagu

Wetkas to Justice Umar: Nothing. I said nothing

Wetkas reads that a letter of March 29, 2005 that talks about allowing sitting tenants of 15 Macdonald

To take part in the bidding process of the buildings advertised for sale in a newspaper

Usoro: Let me take you to page 138

Usoro: I can help you this one. It’s a letter to the implementation committee dated 14/7/2005. Seen it?

Wetkas : Yes

Usoro reads that the govt owned property was omitted from the newspaper advert for sale

Usoro reads that block 15 (4 flats) was not advertised whereas a No 15, a bungalow was advertised

Usoro reads that a Mrs Ahakwe signed the letter

Usoro : You have 4 signing in the earlier letter that they are sitting tenants as shown in paragraph 2?

Wetkas : correct

Usoro: what we have No 15 which is occupied by Egwuagu and block 15 (4 flats) occupied by 4 ladies

Wetkas: That’s correct.

Usoro reads out the names of the females who signed the letter

Usoro: Your joint report made absolutely no reference to any of these ladies

Wetkas: No, it didn’t

Usoro: I wish simply to refresh the joint report. Read it again with respect to the verification
Wetkas reads it

Wetkas: the properties on No 15 A & B MacDonald Ikoyi were verified

Wetkas: while the property on 15 A is a big one painted and fenced, the one on 15 B is unpainted and lacks character

Wetkas : Although it is also fenced. The properties are for residential purposes & belong to the declarant (Saraki)

Let’s go back to Energy Marine. What we have read is what is in your report vis a vis the existence of the property

Usoro: Let’s go back to Energy Marine. What we have read is what is in your report vis a vis the existence of the property

Usoro: According to your report, 15 A & B belongs to the defendant?

Wetkas : Yes my Lord

2nd Judge: what led you to that conclusion? That the property belongs to the defendant

Usoro: I’m heading there my lord

2nd judge: No. Let him answer

Adatze : we have gone through a lot of letter exchanges between the implementation committee & other parties

My Lord, we relied on the letter from the implementation commitee & discovered No 15 MacDonald Ikoyi was sold to defendant

We relied on the numbering from the Presidential Implementation Commitee. All letters read were from private citizens

Usoro: That’s okay. My Lord, that needs to be recorded

Wetkas : Presidential Implementation Commitee said that No 15 MacDonald Ikoyi was sold to Tiny T Ltd

Usoro : Let me take you to page 109 of the file

Usoro : that is a letter from the implementation commitee replying Energy Marine. Please read that letter

Wetkas reads that the property at No 15 A, 15 B MacDonald & d one behind 15A are one and the same property

Usoro: Don’t try to be smart, Michael. We are all smart

Wetkas: from that letter,  even the implementation commitee isn’t recognising 15 A & B as different properties

Usoro: the letter shows that 15 A & B MacDonald are owned by the same leasee

Usoro: and the letter shows that 15 A & B MacDonald was offered to Energy Marine?

Wetkas: That’s what the letter says

Usoro: In line with the covenant, we have exceeded that by 1 hour.  I don’t know if your Lordship wants us to continue

Umar: We can go for 15 minutes

Danladi: “There’s a limit to cross-examination,” he said frankly.

Usoro counters that he is doing his job and should be allowed to do it

Usoro also pointed out that if not for painstaking cross – examination by d defense, d docs of today would have been unknown

Justice Umar calls for a 15 minutes recess…Court!


CCT Chairman Danladi Umar takes his seat. Court!

Agabi to Umar: Our job is extremely difficult.  We shouldn’t make it more difficult. I pray for you everyday

Agabi: I pray for Rotimi and I pray for the defendant. (Turns to Rotimi) Am I not speaking for you?

Umar: I really appreciate you too much. This tribunal has a human face

Usoro: My lead counsel omitted the names of those he prays for and omitted Michael Wetkas.

Court laughs

Umar: May we proceed

Umar reads through the submissions he recorded before the recess.

Usoro: You still have the letter written to Energy Marine by the Implementation commitee on page 109?

Usoro: I don’t know if it was in your record that Wetkas read that 15 A & B is diff from the No 15 that was offered?

Umar: Yes.

Usoro reads out the concluding part of the letter in question

Justice Umar turns the document before him to page 109 which is the concluding part of paragraph 2

Usoro: Wetkas, now that you have seen this letter, did you ask d implementation committee to show you these 4 properties?

Wetkas: there was no need for that because…

Usoro: gently. You will explain

Usoro: is your response that there was no need for that same as ‘no I didn’t?’

Wetkas : Yes….

Usoro: these letter says there were different properties

Wetkas: By the content of that letter yes…

Usoro takes the court to Page 2 of Exhibit 14

Usoro: You want to read it?

Wetkas : go ahead

Usoro: are you sure?

Usoro commences reading

Usoro reads that the commission  that block 15 ( 1-4) was bidded for by Tiny T Ltd.

Does this clarify the basis you didn’t go to physically verify the information?

Wetkas: This particular letter supersedes the earlier letter

Usoro: How does it do that?

Usoro: Let’s talk about leases Are you aware that all properties belong to govt under the Land Use Act?

Wetkas: Yes

Usoro: do you know that everybody who occupies a property is a leasee?

wetkas; I don’t know to that point

Usoro: Your own report says that No 15 A & B MacDonald Ikoyi belongs to the defendant?

Wetkas : Yes

Usoro : Energy Marine wrote that 15 A & B are separate properties from No 15?

Wetkas : Energy Marine said so

Usoro: the implementation committee wrote that No 15 A & B MacDonald are the same property belonging to a leasee

Usoro : they also said that No 15 MacDonald was the subject matter.
That is the one for sale

Wetkas: Yes

Usoro: Please let’s have that in the records My Lord

Usoro: Let me take you somewhere to establish the point made. Can you check page 104?

Usoro: that is a list of the properties

Wetkas : Yes my Lord

Usoro : That’s the list of properties the implementation committee is disposing off

Wetkas : Yes

Usoro: there is a property there, 15 MacDonald Road

Wetkas: Yes

Usoro: In that list, there is no 15 A & B

Wetkas : in this particular list I didn’t find 15 A & B

Usoro : Is there another list?

Wetkas :No. This was also confirmed to us by the implementation commitee

Usoro: Let’s go to page 2. Mind you we will go back to that list o

Usoro: Let’s talk about the full title of the committee. Read it

Wetkas : Implementation Committee of the White Paper on the Alienation of Properties

Usoro: You are aware this committee is for the alienation of FG landed properties?

Wetkas: Yes

Usoro: Which means that if there were non – government owned properties in Ikoyi, they won’t come under this committee

Wetkas: Yes. That’s what it means

Usoro : Let’s go back to that list on page 104

Usoro : In that page, there are only 7 properties in MacDonald Road on that list. Only 7

Wetkas: By this list, yes

Usoro: In that list, there is no 15 A & B

Wetkas : in this particular list I didn’t find 15 A & B

Usoro: Please take your time and go through that file to see if there is any other list. Take your time

Wetkas is flipping through pages of paper before him which are in the file of the implementation committee

Usoro: Have you seen any other list?

Wetkas: No

Usoro: continue

Wetkas: I haven’t

Usoro : Have you been to MacDonald street?

Wetkas: No

Usoro: From that list, there is no No 1 MacDonald street

Wetkas: No.

Usoro: You are aware this committee is for the alienation of FG landed properties?

Wetkas: Yes

Usoro: From that list, it is common sensical that if there is No 1, there will be no 2 and so on

Usoro : Let’s go back to that list on page 104

Wetkas: I don’t know how houses are numbered

Usoro: Interesting. My Lord please record that

Usoro: In your number course of seeing houses numbered, is it done from 1 to 2 etc?

Wetkas: Yes

Usoro : In that page, there are only 7 properties in MacDonald Road on that list. Only 7

Usoro : so it is reasonable to expect that after number 1, there will be number 2?

Wetkas : Yes. Very reasonable

Usoro: You also said you don’t know how houses are numbered

Wetkas: I said I’m not an expert

Justice Adatze steps in and advises Wetkas not to tell lies to impress anyone.#

Justice Adatze said what is happening is a case of two elephants fighting with Wetkas as the grass

Wetkas: Yes. That’s what it means

Justice Adatze asked Wetkas not to try to answer like a lawyer lest he ropes himself into trouble

Usoro directs Wetkas to Exhibit 3 which is the defendant’s End of tenure Assets Declaration form

Usoro: what date was the declaration made?

Wetkas : 11th July 2007

Justice Umar directs that a seat be made available to Wetkas. That is done. Michael Wetkas is now sitting

Usoro: That’s the defendant’s End of tenure Assets Declaration form in his first stint as governor

Wetkas: Yes

Usoro: I want you to flag this particular declaration. We will come back to it. Let’s go to exhibit 1

Exhibit 1 is the anchor of your case before this declaration. Go to Appendix 3

Usoro: Now, in Exhibit 1, in that appendix we have No 15 A & B MacDonald Ikoyi?

Wetkas : Yes

In item 7, that is where the properties 15 A & B MacDonald are entered

Usoro: Now in that exhibit 1, appendix 3, there is no describition of the property

Wetkas: there’s no description

Usoro: There is no description of 15 A & B MacDonald whether it is bungalow or whatever. Let’s go to exhibit 3

Usoro: You are in exhibit 3?

Wetkas: Yes i am

Usoro: In that exhibit 3 you will see a page where supplementary List 2 is written?

Wetkas: Yes,  I have seen it

Usoro: Now, the very first item there says 15A MacDonald which has a description?

Wetkas : Yes, there is. I have seen it

Umar: It says 15A Macdonald Ikoyi
bedroom house

Usoro: Yes my Lord

Usoro: Go to pg 8. There you will see vacant undeveloped plots?

Wetkas : yes

Usoro : underneath it you will see 15B?

Wetkas : Yes

Usoro : it is entered as undeveloped plot

Wetkas: Yes

Usoro: Michael I will take you to 3 sets of docs in exhibit 14

Usoro: We have identified No 15 MacDonald. Read out the description

Wetkas: 4 bed room bungalow with garage

Usoro: Let me take you to another document. Page 199 of Exhibit 14

Usoro reiterates that No 15 MacDonald is a 4 bedroom bungalow with 3 garages.

Usoro: My Lord,  I went to page 199. Are you there Wetkas?

Wetkas: Yes

Usoro : that is a search in regards to this property No 15 MacDonald?

Wetkas : Yes.

Usoro: It is the home of Engr Egwuagu. Is that not the same Egwuagu?

Wetkas: it is

Usoro: that page 199 reads that the property on 15 MacDonald is occupied by Engr Egwuagu

Usoro: Please read item G of that page which shows the number of rooms

Usoro: So Michael the position we have from the list of implementation commitee is that no 15 MacDonald has 4 bedrooms

Usoro: Rotimi says I should add 3 bedroom boys quarters but from the census we don’t have that

Usoro: Go to Pg. 209, exhibit 14. Read that one. It’s very simple. It’s a letter from Engr Egwuagu

Justice Umar takes time out to write down something

Usoro: None of the description you have read fits the description in 15 A & B MacDonald in exhibit 3

Wetkas: Yes my Lord

Usoro: yes it fits or yes it doesn’t fit?

Wetkas: Yes it doesn’t fit but my understanding is…

Usoro: Wait now, Wetkas. It will be recorded for you

Michael : My understanding is that one can expand a property if you acquire it.

Usoro: First of all you acknowledge that there is a difference and that one can expand a property. No problem

Usoro: I am looking at Exhibit 3 and I will pursue this your theory. The last item says there is an undeveloped land

Wetkas : Yes

Usoro: As far as undeveloped plot 15B is concerned it doesn’t fit the description in exhibit 3?

Wetkas : Yes. It doesn’t fit

Usoro: My Lord, page 8, exhibit 3. Sorry my Lord.  At the top, you will find buildings

Usoro: Wetkas had said that the description that he read cannot possibly apply to 15 B

Usoro: Rotimi gave further evidence to say because it is undeveloped

Usoro: We go to the previous page that talks about 15A MacDonald

Usoro: It’s not a bungalow. It’s a house. You know there is a difference between the two?

Usoro clarifies some of the points made earlier by the witness

Usoro: the witness has agreed that the description of 15A is different from that of 15 that is a bungalow

Usoro: This 15A, are you stating as a fact that it was expanded?

Wetkas: No it’s on assumption

Umar: You want us to close now?

Usoro: I will appreciate that

Agabi rises up and draws attention to the earlier request he made

Umar: Your request is granted. You will rest tomorrow

Agabi: May God bless you My Lord

Umar: Let’s rest tomorrow and come back on Tuesday next week

colleagues are saying Wednesday

Umar: No. Tuesday is good.

Rotimi tries to speak but Agabi says he shd be allowed

Agabi says his colleague on the defense team is launching a book next week Tuesday

Rotimi: My Lord we have been one spot. This witness has been here for how many weeks. It’s not fair

Rotimi: If we will take tomorrow off, then let’s come back on Monday

Justice Umar says this matter is very important

Umar: it is in the interest of the defendant for the matter to be dispensed with quickly

Kanu Agabi now goes into a tale about Socrates and his appearance before a tribunal

Agabi: That tribunal has been condemned by every generation. It shall not be so with your Lordship

Court echoes ‘Amen’

Umar: I have accepted that this matter be adjourned and that we won’t come tomorrow

Umar: However, even though there is a book launch, we will reconvene here on Tuesday

Umar: This matter is very important

Rotimi complains that the defense is wasting time but Usoro rises up and challenges his stance

Usoro: My Lord the witness could have spared us all this trouble if he had simply answered the questions

Usoro: Should I prejudice my client?

Agabi begs Justice Umar to allow the matter to be adjourned till next Tuesday by 12 noon

Umar to Agabi : It is out of my respect for you that I said we should take tomorrow off so we can rest

Umar: You are asking for too much

Agabi: Says they aren’t taking time out to rest.  That no lawyer rests.

Agabi: I am begging Lordship and Rotimi you should join me when I am begging

Agabi: I just asked my colleague what Rotimi means and he said ‘stay with me’.

Agabi to Rotimi: stay with me!!

Rotimi says that court should resume 10am on Tuesday as agreed.

The tribunal now adjourned till  Tuesday, 17th May, 2016.


Compiled by Musa Danjuma