Tunde Olanrewaju, Abeokuta
Former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, is set to return to an Abeokuta High Court about two days from his 58th birthday in April to answer corruption charges and alleged fraudulent conversion of public properties to personal use preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The embattled leader of the opposition Labour Party in Ogun State had earlier sought refuge in the Court of Appeal, Ibadan, asking that the higher court strike out counts 1-13 of the 38 charges filed against him. His appeal was thrown out, thus necessitating the return to Abeokuta to face Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje on April 3 and 4. Daniel was born on April 6, 1956.
Mabekoje had ruled on January 8, 2013 that the former governor must be tried on all the charges filed against him by the anti-graft agency, and adjourned till February 6, 2014 given Daniel’s appeal at the Court of Appeal.
However, at the resumed hearing on Thursday, Daniel’s counsel, Mr Tayo Oyetibo, SAN, told the court that “there is no more hurdle in the way of the trial.” He said that the court of appeal had ruled that his client should stand trial for the counts 1-13 in the subsisting suit.
EFCC counsel, Mr Toyosi Kuteyi, who confirmed the development thereafter asked for a trial date. The case was consequently adjourned to April 3 and 4 for continuation of trial.