A former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, says his eight-year-old trial for alleged N200m fraud is nothing but persecution by his successor, Ibikunle Amosun.
He said despite charging him with theft, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had not been able to show the court that any money was missing from the treasury of Ogun State throughout his time as governor.
Describing his trial as a charade, Daniel urged the world to note that the charge, which began with an alleged N87bn fraud, had been amended on three different occasions with the amounts claimed to have been stolen being reduced from N87bn to N52bn, to N9bn and N200m.
“All these were done within the prosecution windows even as Otunba Daniel has not entered his own defence.
“It should also be noted that the EFCC spent almost eight years in calling their various witnesses and none of them gave evidence of any missing money and/or funds belonging to the Ogun State Government. As a matter of fact, all the witnesses agreed under cross-examination that no fund belonging to the state government was missing.
“There has been no record that any money was lost in Ogun State treasury while Otunba Daniel was Governor of Ogun State; hence there was no theft of any money belonging to Ogun State. Even when the chief ‘persecutor’ himself held sway as the Governor on Ogun State he could not tender any record or documents of any money lost or missing from the Ogun State coffers,” Daniel’s Press Officer, Ayo Giwa, said in a statement on Sunday in response to a Sunday PUNCH publication, captioned, “10 govs who may suffer Kalu’s fate.”
He said there was a need to emphasise that “most of the subsisting charges border on administrative procedures and executive discretion.”
He said, “We therefore wondered where these figures about N200m stolen funds come from.
“It therefore puts logic to test that it is only Otunba Gbenga Daniel that is standing trial on behalf of an administration that ruled the state for eight years; suggesting there was no accomplice, no clerk, no collaborators – just one man, presumed to be signing vouchers, cheques and paying himself if indeed and truly there were any infraction on the state finance.”