Lawyers to former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel have accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC of threatening its own witnesses. Tayo Oyetibo one of the lead counsels to the former governor made the allegation at the resumed hearing of the case preferred against the former governor by the EFCC at an Abeokuta High Court on Tuesday June 5.
Oyetibo was reacting to the allegation made by Rotimi Jacob leading the EFCC prosecution team to the effect that its prosecution witness who was to continue with the evidence had stayed away do to threat to his life after the last hearing. Jacob made the allegation shortly after Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje had thrown out his objection to the tendering of a bank statement from the Skye Bank. The Judge in the ruling said the objection of the EFCC lacked merit. It was after
the ruling when he was called upon to continue with the case that that Jacob alleged that Adeluola Babajide, an official of the Skye Bank had refused all entreaties by the prosecution to bring him to court to continue with his testimony. However Jacob also produced a medical report brought to court by Adeluola’s counsel to the effect that he was medically unfit to come to court. Oyetibo pointed out the apparent contradiction in Jacobs position and alleged that that prosecution wanted to dispense with the witness because the team was uncomfortable with the testimony he had given so far.
“ In the same breathe the prosecution said there was a threat to kill the witness, the witness sent in medical report claiming he was unfit to attend the court , the witness was telephoned yesterday by the prosecution and he assured them that he would be in court. What are we to believe? The contradictions in the position of the EFCC are self evident. In any case we are
ready to proceed since we don’t even have more questions for the witness”, Oyetibo said. He said if there were any threat it was from the prosecution which did not want Adeluola to come to court any more as it was unsatisfied with his testimony. He said the information they got was that the EFCC was pressurizing the witness not to come to court.
Oyetibo however urged the court not to sweep the allegation under the carpet saying the Investigating Police Officer who told the prosecution about the alleged threat should be invited. However a twist was added to the drama when the counsel to Adeluola confirmed that he got the medical report from the management of Skye Bank contrary to the position of the prosecution that the Bank did not know anything about the action of Adeluola. Jacob however sought an adjournment saying he still had to reexamine the witness.
On the non appearance of the prosecution witness Justice Mabekoje said that based on the medical report submitted on behalf of the witness, the only reason why he was not in court was because he was medically unfit to do so. He said no other action would be taken on the allegations until the witness is allowed to state is own side of the story.
Earlier Justice Mabekoje rulingon substantive issue before the court on whether nor not a statement of account of the Blue Chapel tendered by the defense team be admitted ruled against the submission of the EFCC which had asked the court not to admit the statement. The Judge said since the statement was part of the proof of evidence submitted by the prosecution and has therefore become part of the record of the court; he had no doubt that the statement of account
could be admitted in court. “The objection of the prosecution is lacking in merit and is hereby dismissed,” The Judge ruled. The case was thereafter adjourned to June 29th, July 9th and 12th for further hearing.
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