The trial into the corruption suit against Gbenga Daniel has once again been stalled.
Mr. Daniel was dragged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a 38-count charge of financial misappropriation and conversion of state land to personal use.
The former governor filed an application for the court to quash some of the charges on the grounds that a Commission of Inquiry set up by the state government had already indicted him over the issues, hence would affect a fair trial against him.
But the Abeokuta High Court dismissed the application, saying that Mr. Daniel has a case to answer and that a Commission of Inquiry does not amount to conviction or the ruling of a court.
Not satisfied with the court’s stance and determined to get reprieve, Mr. Daniel’s counsel filed an application at the Court of Appeal to quash some of the charges against him. The EFCC described the move as an attempt to delay proceedings when on Friday, February 22, counsel to the defendant, Taiwo Osipitan, told the EFCC and the court that he had sought the permission of the Court of Appeal to quash counts 1-13.
The presiding judge, Olanrewaju Mabekoje, adjourned proceeding till Friday, March 1.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Friday, Mr. Osipitan referred the court to his application filed at the Court of Appeal and consequently asked for a stay of proceeding and an adjournment pending the Court of Appeal’s hearing on April 11, 2013.
Counsel to the EFCC, Adebisi Adeniyi, holding brief for Rotimi Jacobs, argued that such an application was not allowed under the EFCC act.
Defence counsel, Mr. Osipitan countered, saying his client has a right of appeal under section 241, paragraph 2B, where application on pure point of law could be pursued without any hindrance.
Mr. Osipitan said he was only asking for an adjournment pending the hearing of the motion filed at the Court of Appeal.
After listening to both arguments, Justice Mabekoje granted an adjournment but not a stay of proceedings of the case.
The judge adjourned the matter till April 22.