A prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of a former governor of Ogun State, Mr. Gbenga Daniel, on Thursday, July 10, 2014, told an Ogun State High Court sitting in Abeokuta, that a file containing records of properties allocated to the former governor, could not be found.
The witness, Mr. Isaac Akogun told Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje that the original letter of allocation of property to the former Governor could not be tendered in court because the files are missing. “We don’t seem to have the files. They may have been taken away by the former Director-General”, he declared.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, Akogun, Deputy Director, Bureau of Lands, Ogun State, while being cross-examined by lead defense counsel, Taiwo Osepitan SAN, told the court that letters of allocation of property to Daniel were not found, in spite of the subpoena issued on the Bureau to produce the documents.
However, Osipitan showed Akogun a copy of letters of allocation dated 31st May, 2012 and 6th June 2012 to confirm. He did and they were tendered and admitted as exhibits 31 and 32.
Osipitan further presented another letter of allocation to the witness, which he denied knowledge of, as it was not a certified true copy despite having the Bureau of Lands’ logo on it.
Counsel to the EFCC, Adebisi Adeniyi, holding brief for Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, told the court the Commission’s witness was unable to confirm if the letter emanated from his office. “Only a certified true copy is admissible in court. The accused person should have the original with him. If this copy must be admitted, it has to be certified therefore, I urge your lordship to reject this document as an exhibit”, he said.
Justice Mabekoje, however agree with the defense that the document is relevant to the matter and admitted it as exhibit 34. Another document presented was rejected for not passing a test of certification.
Justice Mabekoje later adjourned the matter till October 16th and 17th, 2014 for continuation of trial. Daniel is facing trial on a 38-count charge of stealing public funds to the tune of N211.3 million. The charges border on bribery, fraudulent conversion of public property and false declaration of assets.