Court adjourns Daniel's trial to November 7

By The Citizen

An Abeokuta High Court Friday, again adjourned the trial of the former Governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel to Thursday, November 7, 2013.

Daniel is facing a 38-count charge proffered against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), bordering on fraudulent practices and conversion of official and private property into his personal use, among others, during his eight-year tenure as the Governor of the State.

He is being defended by 17 lawyers out of which are four Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs).

The legal team is led by Prof Taiwo Osipitan (SAN).

The case is being prosecuted on behalf of the EFCC by Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) and two other counsel.

Daniel, during the trial which began in October, 2011, filed an application, urging the court to strike out counts one to 13 of the charges on the grounds that a panel set up by the state government had already indicted him on the same counts.

But Justice Olarewaju Mabekoje ruled against Daniel's request.

Not satisfied with the ruling, Daniel, through his legal team, appealed the ruling at the Ibadan Appeal Court.

In adjourning the case yesterday, Mabekoje explained that he had to adjourn the case to allow the High Court to determine the merit of Daniel's application.

The Appeal Court has fixed Wednesday, October 9 for hearing of the Application.

At yesterday's sitting, Mrs. Titilola Akinlawon, who led Daniel's legal team, appealed to Mabekoje to adjourn the case indefinitely.

But in response, the judge stated: 'We cannot just adjourn indefinitely, but we must wait for the determination of the merit of the application filed by the Defence team at the Appeal Court.'

All the EFCC counsel were absent from the court sitting yesterday.

Akinlawon informed the court that the prosecution team was unable to be at the sitting due to the closure of the Sagamu, Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, as a result of the visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to Sagamu to perform the official ceremony of the flag-off of the reconstruction of the road.