Alleged N211.3m Fraud: Ex-Governor Daniel’s property files missing

Gbenga Daniel in court

A prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of a former Governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, on Thursday told an Ogun State High Court sitting in Abeokuta that a file containing records of properties allocated to the former governor could not be found.

The witness, Isaac Akogun, a deputy director at the Ogun State Bureau of Lands, told Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje that the original letter of allocation of property to the former governor could not be tendered in court because the files were missing.

“We don’t seem to have the files. They may have been taken away by the former Director- General,” Mr. Akogun said at the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday.

While being cross-examined by lead defence counsel, Taiwo Osipitan, SAN, the deputy director said letters of land allocations to Mr. Daniel could not be found.

The court had issued a subpoena on the Bureau to produce the documents.

However, Mr. Osipitan presented to Mr. Akogun copies of letters of allocation dated May 31, 2012 and June 6 2012 to authenticate. He did and the documents were tendered and admitted as exhibits 31 and 32.

Mr. Osipitan further presented another letter of allocation to the witness, which he denied knowledge of, as it was not a certified true copy despite having the Bureau of Lands’ logo on it.

The Counsel to the EFCC, Adebisi Adeniyi, holding brief for Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, told the court the Commission’s witness was unable to confirm if the letter emanated from his office.

“Only a certified true copy is admissible in court. The accused person should have the original with him. If this copy must be admitted, it has to be certified therefore, I urge your lordship to reject this document as an exhibit,” Mr. Adeniyi said.

Justice Mabekoje, however agreed with the defence that the document is relevant to the matter and admitted it as exhibit 34.

Another document presented was rejected for not passing a test of certification.

Justice Mabekoje adjourned the matter till October 16 and 17 for continuation of trial.

Mr. Daniel is facing trial on a 38-count charge of stealing public funds to the tune of N211.3 million. The charges border on bribery, fraudulent conversion of public property and false declaration of assets.

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