- Category: Law, Crime & Judiciary
- Published on Thursday, 13 October 2011 08:35
- Written by Admin
- Hits: 875
How OGD looted Ogun –EFCC
The arraignment of the immediate past governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, yesterday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over alleged mismanagement of N58 billion has revealed how the former governor allegedly fleeced the state.
Holding a book he authored and entitled “Daniel in the Lion’s Den’’, the former governor in company with his wife, Olufunke, was led to Court 4 where Hon. Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje presided.
Dressed in a cream agbada, traditional Yoruba attire with his traditional OGD black cap and black shoes to match, Daniel, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The former governor was brought to the court premises at about 9.10 a.m. in a white Toyota Hiace bus with registration number Abuja BR 737 BWR in company with his wife and close family members.
He entered the dock at about 9.23a.m. and stood throughout while the charges were read from the charge sheet No. ABK/EFCC/02/2011.
Before the charges were read, the presiding Judge, Mabekoje granted the request of the leading counsel to the accused, Professor Taiwo Osipitan (SAN) who asked for stand down for 30 minutes to enable him to study the charges and discuss with his client.
Picture: Former Governors Akala, Daniel and Doma
When the court resumed, counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, told the court that the agency had filed a 304-page information. This prompted the lead counsel to the accused, Professor Osipitan to ask the court for a stand down for the defence team to study the information in compliance with Section 36 sub-section 6 of the 1999 constitution as amended.
Justice Mabekoje after listening to Osipitan’s plea granted a 30-minute stand down in favour of the defence team.
In the first count of the charge, Daniel was alleged to have on 31st Mach, 2010, fraudulently converted a sum of $1,000,000 property of the state government being part of the funds allegedly deposited in the Ogun State Government domiciliary account with First City Monument Bank to acquire shares of Glanvill Enthoven and Company (Nigeria) Limited.
On the second count charge, on April 8, 2010, Daniel was alleged to have fraudulently converted an aggregate sum of $2,000,000 million worth property of Ogun State Government being part of the funds deposited in the state’s domiciliary account with First City Monument Bank, to acquire shares of Glanvill Enthoven and Company (Nigeria) Limited.
On count three, Daniel on 8th April, 2010 was accused of fraudulently converting the sum of $1,000,000 million property of Ogun State Government being part of the funds deposited in the Ogun State Government domiciliary account with FCMB which he used to acquire shares of 21st Century Technology Limited.
The fourth count charge accused him of defrauding the state, having allegedly converted the Judges Quarters at GRA Sagamu to his private use by building his personal house known as Asoludero Court. This property he was said to have acquired in the name of Blue Chapel Limited, a company where he was said to have interest but not authorised by the trust. On the fifth count charge, the former governor was said to have with intent, defrauded and converted the Judges’ Quarters at Ijebu-Ode to the use of Conference Hotels Limited, a company it was said that he, (Daniel) had interest but not authorized by the trust.
The sixth count charge had it that Daniel on or before 13th September, 2006, with intent to defraud the state, converted 2.011 hectares of land situated within the Secretariat Complex along Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida Boulevard, Abeokuta, Ogun State, to the use of Golf Place Resort Hotels Limited, a company which it was said, he had interest but was not authorized by the trust.
In the seven count charge, Daniel was said to have in 2005 with intent defraud and converted a 4,107 hectares of land within Scheme 1, Area, Riverview Estate, Isheri, along Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, Isheri, Ogun State to the use of Westerner Publishing Company Limited, a company it was said that he had interest.
The ex-governor on the eight-count charge was accused of fraudulently converting the sum of N1, 103,294,648.61 billion properties of Ogun State local government councils which deduction he made from their November 2009 statutory allocation. The ninth count charge read that Daniel, sometimes in July 2009, fraudulently converted a sum of N1, 061,155,624.55 property of Ogun State local government councils which deduction he allegedly made form their November 2009 Statutory Allocation.
Particulars of Count 10 had it that Daniel sometime in October 2009 within the jurisdiction of the honourable Court while being the Executive Governor of Ogun State fraudulent converted to his own, the sum of N1, 094,282,667.10, property of Ogun State Local Government Councils which deduction you made from their November 2009 Statutory Allocation.
The statement of count 12 read that Daniel sometime in August, 2009 within the jurisdiction of the honourable court whilst being the Executive Governor of Ogun State fraudulently converted to his own use, the sum of N1,051,218,881.46 property of Ogun State local government councils which deduction you made from their November, 2009 statutory allocation.
On count 13, the former governor was accused of not declaring his interest in Glanvil Enthoven and Company (Nigeria) Limited, a company in which he was alleged to have acquired interest while he was governor. Particulars of count 14 stated that Daniel made a declaration that was false by not declaring his interest in 21st Century Technology Limited, a company in which he was said to have acquired interest while he governed the state between 2003 and 2011. Count-15 also charged the ex-governor to have on 11th October, 2011, within the jurisdiction of the honourable court, knowingly made a declaration that was false by not declaring his interest in Conference Hotels Limited, a company where he allegedly acquired interest while he was governor.
Particulars of the count 16 said that Daniel on 11th October, 2011 within the jurisdiction of the honourable court knowingly made a declaration that was false by not declaring his interest in Golf Place Resort Hotel Limited, a company in which he was alleged to have interest while in office. While the court proceeding lasted, supporters of the ex-governor who had stormed the court premises and another group believed to be opposed to him, chanted both pro and anti-Daniel slogans. It took the swift intervention of the Police and other security operatives to prevent a breakdown of law and order as the two groups made inciting statements.
Despite the heavy presence of security, rowdiness almost marred the court session as the counsel strained their ears to listen to the proceedings. The situation forced one of the counsels to the accused, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo to observe at the end of the proceedings that there was need for security within and outside the court to be beefed up.
The presiding Judge who granted the request of the EFCC for adjournment till tomorrow for the hearing of Daniel’s bail application, also ordered that the ex-governor be remanded in the EFCC’s custody. Although the EFCC said it did not object to Daniel being remanded in its custody, its lead counsel, Jacobs reacted to a media report that the ex-governor was being subjected to inhuman conditions. (Daily Sun)
How Akala looted Oyo (11.10.11)
Court remands ex-gov in SSS custody Daniel’s trial stalls, goes on hunger strike Now, it is official: former governor of Oyo State, Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala, Senate Deputy Chief Whip, who was Commissioner for Local Government under Alao-Akala, Hosea Agboola, and an engineer, Femi Babalola (a.k.a. Jogor), have a case to answer.
Before an Ibadan High Court where they were arraigned yesterday, the EFCC preferred 11 charges of gross misconduct and abuse of office against them. Their offences ranged from conspiracy, illegal award of contracts, obtaining by false pretence, acquiring property with money derived from illegal acts to concealing the ownership of such property. And for the second day, the EFCC failed yesterday to arraign former Governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, in court. The commission’s spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, had assured on Monday that Daniel would appear before a state High Court in Abeokuta yesterday.
Babafemi had linked the commission’s inability to arraign Daniel and others on Monday to the absence of judges to handle the case. The former governor was due to be arraigned before the Federal High Court, Oke-Mosan and the state High Court, Isabo, Ogun State, based on the petitions written against him. Just like they did on Monday, Daniel’s supporters besieged the court premises as early as 7.30 a.m., but were denied access to the premises. Mobile policemen stationed at the gate of the Federal High Court searched journalists and court officials, ahead of the proceedings, which did not hold. Later yesterday, the EFCC said it was making effort to arraign Daniel, Danjuma Goje, former governor of Gombe State, now a senator, and Aliyu Akwe-Doma, immediate past governor of Nasarawa State before the court.
Daniel’s legal team however attempted to make a political capital out of his detention, as it alleged that a former president was behind his ordeal. As at 4.00 p. m., the closing time of the court, there was no sign that the embattled former governor would still be arraigned yesterday. However, counsel to Daniel, Yemi Oke, rued the treatment meted to his client by the EFCC. Alao-Akala and the other accused persons, were driven into the court premises in a Coaster bus marked AJ 134 SBC Kaduna accompanied by EFCC officials at 8.15 a.m., the former governor pleaded not guilty to the charges. Clad in white guinea brocade with black cap, Alao-Akala was calm throughout the proceedings.
He took time to acknowledge cheers from his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporters and loyalists who had thronged the court to show their solidarity with him. Agboola was the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs during Alao-Akala’s tenure until April when he won the election into the Senate. Babalola, who is the chairman of a notable events centre in Ibadan, Jogor and Pentagon Engineering Services, was the contractor in charge of all projects awarded by the immediate past administration.
The Alao-Akala administration had awarded contracts for the construction of a five-kilometre road in each of the 33 local councils for N250 million. This was widely criticised by the opposition, which accused him of siphoning the state’s funds through the contract. Some aggrieved persons petitioned the EFCC, alleging financial misappropriation and recklessness. In the charges read to the accused persons before the trial judge, Justice Moshood Abass, the trio were accused of conspiracy and award of N8.5 billion road contracts in the councils between 2007 and 2009 without provisions in the budget. Besides, the accused persons were alleged to have awarded contracts worth N2.270 billion in 2007 for the supply of 33 drilling machines and another put at N355 million for the supply of 20 Roro trucks and 200 pieces of skip bins.
They were also alleged to have obtained by false pretence the sum of N269 million from the state and local government joint account. Alao-Akala was also accused of buying two choice property in Ibadan with money realised from the illegal acts and two others in London using a false identity. On his part, Babalola allegedly obtained N269 million from the state and local council joint account in addition to another N347 million from various contractors engaged in road construction in the 33 councils.
After pleading not guilty to the charges, counsel to the EFCC, Chief Godwin Obla, urged the court to remand the accused in custody to enable the commission prepare for trial. But the accused counsel, Mamman Osuman (SAN), who led other Senior Advocates, including Bolaji Ayorinde, Nathaniel Oke and G.M.O Oguntade, told the court of his pending application for bail and sought to move it. He said the need to urgently hear the application was predicated on the fact that the suspects, particularly Alao-Akala, had been in the EFCC custody in the past six days.
Osuman said the accused persons unnecessary and unconstitutional stay in custody of the commission was the basis of his application for bail. But Obla objected to hearing the bail application, saying he was entitled to the constitutional provision of 48 hours to respond. Justice Abass, who rose briefly to write his ruling, adjourned the case till noon today for hearing of the bail application. Abass said since the accused persons responded to the prosecution’s application filed within 24 hours, their bail application must also be heard within a reasonable time.
He fixed hearing for today and directed that the accused persons be remanded in custody of the State Security Service (SSS) but must be given access to their counsel and four other lawyers, doctors and one spouse each. In a statement made available to journalists in Abeokuta, Oke alleged that Daniel is held under inhuman conditions and subjected to gruesome interrogations. “As it is generally known, he was taken into custody on Thursday, October 6, 2011 by EFCC officials. Since then under the guise of investigating allegations contained in petitions written against him, the former governor has been detained at the EFCC facility in Abuja under unbearable conditions. “In the last four days, he has been subjected to gruesome interrogations by operatives of the commission. Under normal circumstances, Daniel should have been arraigned in court since he has spent more than the required period specified by law in detention.
But at the time of issuing this statement, he has not been arraigned in court and no charge has been preferred against him,” he said. The counsel stressed that despite this, Daniel is being detained and his fundamental human rights curtailed for no just cause. He added that only his wife is allowed access to him. He said yesterday morning, the EFCC was served with court processes by Daniel’s lawyers led by Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (SAN) and Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) seeking to enforce his fundamental human rights.