Vanguard (Lagos)

23 February 2013

Nigeria: Corruption Charges - Daniel Heads for Appeal Over Ruling

Abeokuta — Erstwhile Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Friday, urged the Ogun State High Court sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta to stay its proceeding on count 1-13 concerning criminal charges on alleged abuse of land administration filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Daniel, through his lead counsel, Prof. Taiwo Osipintan disclosed that he had filed an appeal against the ruling of the Presiding judge, Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje which rejected his plea to quash.

Justice Mabekoje had struck out the application filed by Daniel which urged the court to quash count 1-13 on the ground that, the state government had maligned him by publishing the report of a panel of enquiry on land matters.

At yesterday's proceeding which had been for the continued hearing of the 38 count charge filed against Daniel by the anti-graft commission since 2011,Daniel's counsel said he had just filed a motion of stay of action against the court .

According to Osipintan,"the last time we were in court, there was a ruling whether to quash the count 1-13 or not,this issue has been decided by a panel .

"His lordship ruled against us, and based on advice and instructions we have appealed against the ruling, if the appeal succeds, they will not try count 1-13 but,if it is not, the trial will contnue.But, the law is that where you have raised such an appeal ,then, the court should stay the action.

" It is a routine application. It is definitely not delay tactics on our own side, we are ready for the prosecution, we are ever ready.

Reacting to Daniel's application,the counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs said it was an attempt to waste time.

" The filing of the application itself abnition, is an attempt to delay,but, let us canvass the argument before the court, we don't want to be acussed of disrespecting the authority of the appeal court, that is why we did not press so hard today,but, let us see the papers they filed before the court of appeal.

Justice Mabekoje however, adjourned the case to March 1 to enable the defence counsel file the necessary papers in support of the application.

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