Contrary to media reports that Otunba Gbenga Daniel has been discharged and acquitted by the ruling of an Abeokuta High Court today, the EFCC wishes to clarify that the ruling of Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje was not a discharge and acquittal of the former Ogun State Governor.
The trial judge only released Mr. Daniel on the sole technical ground that the Commission failed to seek the consent of court before filing the amended charges against the former governor.
Consequent on the ruling striking out the charges, the Commission will immediately apply to the Chief Judge of Ogun State for leave to re-file the charges against Otunba Daniel. We consider it prudent and reasonable to re-file the charges immediately as advised by Justice Mabekoje in the said ruling, as against lodging an appeal against the judgment, which action may take several months to decide at the Court of Appeal.
For the avoidance of doubt, the court did not rule on the competence or merit of the charges against Otunba Daniel, therefore, he was not discharged and acquitted by the ruling today.
Daniel was first arraigned on October 12, 2011 on a 16-count charge of stealing, fraudulent conversion and failure to declare assets. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was admitted to bail, on October 14, 2011 in the sum of N500million and two sureties in like sum. The charges were later amended to 43 counts.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity