(Press Release)A compliance Officer with the Zenith Bank, Mr. Sunday Esezobor has told an Abeokuta High Court that there was no lodgment of money of Ogun State Government into the accounts operated by Krestal Laurel Nigeria Limited, a private Engineering Firm owned by the former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel. The banker stated this while being cross examined during the continuation of the trial of Daniel by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday October 15, 2012. ‘From the statement I have with me, there was no cheque from the Ogun State Government lodged into the account between 2005 and 2011’ Esezobor told the court.
Earlier at the resumed hearing of the case before Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje, the EFCC through its lawyer, Rotimi Jacob led Esezobor in evidence. The banker told the court that the account had various lodgments made into it and he identified the former Governor has the sole signatory of the account.
However during cross examination by Professor Taiwo Osipitan, lead counsel to Otunba Daniel, it was disclosed that the account belonged to the Engineering firm of the former governor and the account was opened in 1997 well before the assumption of office of the Otunba Daniel.
The lead counsel said the lodgments were for transaction involving the engineering firm and some of its clients. He specifically told the court that some of the lodgments which the EFCC highlighted took place between Krestal Laurel and Aron Nigeria Limited in the normal course of business transactions between two firms. The witness also confirmed that at no time did the arm of the EFCC charged with such responsibility query the transaction. He also confirmed that the account was still active
Meanwhile the court will resume hearing on November 11 and the first business of the day would be the application brought on behalf of Daniel by his counsel to quash count 1to 13. Professor Osipitan said the defense was seeking the quashing of the 13 counts because they are related to allegation bothering on land matters which a panel set up by the Ogun State Government had already adjudicated and taken a definite decision on . He said trying the former Governor on those counts will amount to double Jeopardy.
Before drawing the curtains on the proceedings of the day Justice Mabekoje informed both counsels of the report of the Police investigation ordered by the court in respect of the allegation by the EFCC of threat to a witness Adeluola Babajide of the Skye Bank. Mabekoje said the police investigations concluded that Adeluola was never threatened directly or indirectly before, during and after the proceedings. Adeluola himself had had debunked the EFCC allegation when he appeared before the court on the June 28, 2012. Mabekoje appealed to both counsels to regard the matter relating to threat as a close issue since the police investigations had shown that there was no threat to the witness.