The former governor is accused of converting public land for personal use.
The trial of former Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel, over alleged criminal offences filed by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, commenced on Thursday at a High Court, in Abeokuta,.
The commission, at the hearing, tendered 25 exhibits against the former governor, and presented two witnesses – a Chief Deed Registrar in the Ministry of Land, Mariam Ademoye, and a Deputy Director, Bureau of Land, Isaac Akogun.
The exhibits accepted by the court comprised of certified true copies of Certificates of Occupancy, C of O, of Mr. Daniel’s residence, his father’s church and a hotel in Sagamu obtained from the state bureau of land in support of the charge of conversion of public property into personal use.
The trial Judge, Olanrewaju Mabekoje, admitted all the documents tendered by EFCC and marked them as exhibits.
Also at the hearing, the two witnesses were cross-examined by the counsel to Mr. Daniel, Taiwo Osipintan, as well as that of the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs.
Responding during cross-examination, Ms. Ademoye told the court that the commission had written her office in March 2012, demanding for the certified true copies of some registered documents in the custody of the ministry.
She said that the documents requested for were the C of O of Mr. Daniel’s residence in Sagamu, his father’s church, the Golf Place Resort, and Blue Chapel among others.
The witness, however, cleared Mr. Daniel of complicity in the disappearance of some files at the Bureau of Land. She pointed out that the former governor was not a staff of the Bureau and therefore had no access to the documents.
The Deputy Director, Bureau of Land, Mr. Akogun, while being cross-examined, said he was a schedule officer in Sagamu GRA when Mr. Daniel was governor. Mr. Akogun said that his office was by-passed during the acquisition of lands on which Mr. Daniel’s mansion, his father’s church and the hotel were built.
The witness further accused Mr. Daniel of taking over some lands that were not revoked by the government. He alleged that the former governor converted some plots of land that were designed for guests houses, and access roads, among others, for personal use.
At the end of the trial, which lasted for over five hours, the judge adjourned the case till April 29 and May 30 for the continuation of trial.
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