2nd March, 2012
The embattled former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel was today absolved by the High court sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta of the 43-count charge levelled against him by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Giving the ruling this morning, Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje, said that the appellants have failed to follow the constitutional provision required to file information containing indictable offences.
According to Mabekoje, “trial leave of court is required to file information containing indictable offences by any person in the High Court. The EFCC failed to comply with section 340 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Law before filing the information. Therefore, the information is liable to be quashed.
“EFCC has made a fundamental error and based on their failure to fulfill the constitutional provision, the court cannot go on to hear the case unless the right thing is done,” Mabekoje submitted.
Reacting to the judgment, counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) said it is not yet uhuru for the supporters of the former governor as they are still going to return to court. He described the judgment as “pyrrhic victory.”
Jacobs said, “there is no cause for celebration, it is just a temporary setback on our part and we are coming back to court immediately we receive an order to do so.”
In his own reaction, counsel to the defendant, Mr. Taiwo Osipitan described the judgment as a victory for democracy.
It was celebration galore as supporters of the former governor who were in court danced round in jubilation.
Daniel was arraigned in court last year October for charges ranging from misappropriation of funds, failure to declare assets and illegal deduction of local government funds to the tune of N58 billion.
—Abiodun Onafuye/ Abeokuta