Court workers strike halts trial of Gbenga Daniel

The former governor is accused of transferring state funds to personal accounts.

 

The strike by court workers in Ogun State, on Friday, stalled the ongoing trial of the state’s former governor, Gbenga Daniel at the Ogun High Court.

The former governor is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for diversion of the state’s funds to his personal account while he was governor and converting the states land for personal use. Mr. Daniel was the Ogun governor between 2003 and 2011.

As at the last hearing, a witness of the anti-graft commission was being cross-examined in connection with some accounts belonging to Mr. Daniel which the EFCC alleged were used to siphon the funds.

At a previous hearing in July, a witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) who  works with Finbank – Omolara Akiodem –told the court that Mr. Daniel is the sole signatory of an account belonging to Masterline Investment and Property Limited.

The EFCC had alleged that the company was one of Mr. Daniel’s sources of siphoning the Ogun State Government’s money while in office as the governor.

The witness during cross examination told the court that since inception of opening the account in 2000, Mr. Daniel till date remains the only signatory to the account.

She said Mr. Daniel between 2003 and 2009 had been signing the cheques assigned to the account, adding that on September 9, 2005, a GTB cheque number 3037 in the sum of N10million was deposited into the account.
However, some residents and politicians who were ignorant of the strike came to the court only to see the gates of the court locked.

With the development, the trial will remain on hold, until the strike is called off by the court staff.

Thereafter, the court will contact lawyers of both parties (Mr. Daniel and EFCC) on a new date of further hearing.

The court workers, who have been on strike since October 31  are demanding a harmonised salary structure that will guarantee them better pay.


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