- Category: Law, Crime & Judiciary
- Published on Sunday, 30 October 2011 23:25
- Written by Admin
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested five suspects over alleged diversion of $8million (N1.2b) excess crude funds during the administration of former Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State.
There were strong indications that the EFCC may arraign Daniel before a Federal High Court for alleged money laundering of the said excess crude funds after the ongoing probe.
Investigations by our correspondent showed that the EFCC arrested some of the suspects in the last two weeks.
It was learnt that during Daniel’s tenure, the state government had decided to lodge the $3m part share of excess crude funds in the state’s domiciliary account with the new generation bank as part of its savings for the future.
The balance of $5million was kept in an account yet to be uncovered by the EFCC operatives.
But findings by the EFCC revealed that the $3m had been withdrawn in controversial circumstances before the governor left office.
The alleged curious transactions led to the invitation of the five suspects who are being interrogated.
A top source in the commission, who spoke in confidence, said: “Earlier, we had the four bankers in our custody. All the five suspects are now with us.
“The allegations against the ex-governor border on alleged diversion of $8million lodged in the domiciliary accounts of the state including about $3milion with the bank.
“We have discovered that they moved money from the domiciliary accounts of the state during Daniel’s tenure to some private accounts.
“But we want to establish the purpose for the transfer of the funds to private accounts. We also want to know whether such transfers were backed by law or decisions of the House of Assembly and the State Executive Council.
“It is not as if we have established any fraudulent intents against the suspects but since they were central to some transactions, we need to interact with them if due process was followed or not.
“They have to make all the books available to our investigators for necessary checks. If at the end of the day they are found guilty of any complicity, the suspects will face trial alongside the bank. But where nothing is found against them, they will be freed.”
Responding to a question, the source said: “Depending on the outcome of our investigation, the ex-governor may face fresh charges of money laundering at a Federal High Court. The State High Court cannot try cases of money laundering.
“Any charges against Daniel before the State High Court may be filed at the Federal High Court.”
Contacted, the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Femi Babafemi, confirmed the detention of the suspects.
He said: “I am only aware there is an ongoing investigation of the officials of the bank and some other persons. I am yet to get the details of that case.”
The EFCC had arraigned Daniel at a State High Court on a 16-count charge.
The charges before the former Ogun State governor include, among others, stealing, conversion of government land to private use, conversion of $1 million belonging to the state government in a domiciliary account to acquire shares of Glanvill Enthovien and Company Nigeria, conversion of local government allocations and failure to declare assets.
The defence counsel, led by Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), said the former governor was not guilty of the charges.