Counsel Accuses Ogun Government of Vilifying Ex Gov Daniel

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An Abeokuta High Court was on Friday told that the Ogun State Government was vilifying former Governor Gbenga Daniel by setting up a commission of Enquiry to probe land Administration by his administration while at the same giving the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the fiat to try him for the same offence. One of the lawyers to the former Governor stated this at the resumed hearing of the case preferred against the former Governor by the EFCC. Tayo Oyetubo, a senior Advocate of Nigeria, who led the argument asking for the quashing of count 1 to 13 preferred against the former Governor said by not waiting for the conclusion of the criminal procedure and hurriedly setting up a commission of enquiry, issuing a white paper on its findings and giving it wide publicity the government of Ogun State has put the court presided over by Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje in a very difficult situation. He said the action showed that the Government was in a hurry to try and convict the respondent.

Oyetubo said since the report of the commission had already being widely published and publicized it has put the court at the risk of condemnation whichever way it exercises its discretion on the charges in contention. He said it would also deny Otunba Daniel fair hearing because the commissions report and the white paper issued by the government has heightened public condemnation of the respondent. He said by setting up the commission, accepting

and publishing its finding via a white paper the Ogun State Government wants to send a message to the court that it has no option than to follow suit .He said the Ogun State government, the victim of the alleged crime as well as the principal complainant by its action has perverted the legal process when the criminal procedure was still ongoing. He said the action of the government was therefore a deviation from established legal norms.  Oyetibo therefore urged the court to strike out count 1to 13, stay proceedings on them or adjourn proceedings on them in the interest of fair hearing and acceptable legal norms. Counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Jacob countered by arguing that the Ogun State government was not a party to the proceedings and as such could not have committed any contempt. It said the commission of enquiry was set up in pursuant to the powers of state and the publicity given to the white paper would not affect the ongoing procedure at the high court. Justice Mabekoje after listening to the counsel’s fixed January 8, 2013 for ruling on the application for the quashing of Count 1 to 13.

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