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After 11 years of litigation: Appeal Court acquits ex-gov Gbenga Daniel of 15 count charges leveled against him by EFCC



The Court of Appeal, Ibadan Division, on Tuesday discharged and acquitted a former governor of Ogun state, Gbenga Daniel, of all 15 charges leveled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Justice Yargata Nimpar, who read the judgment, found merit in the eight issues brought to the court by the ex-Ogun governor against the EFCC and acquitted Daniel on all counts, ending an eleven-year-old litigation against the former governor.
Ms. Nimpar described the prosecution as malicious stating that the anti-graft agency should not make use of state fiat to prosecute a governor for an action protected by federal legislation like the Land Use Act as it empowers the governor to allocate land to all Nigerians, including churches and for all purposes.
The court also noted that Daniel was tried in Abuja for a supposed crime purportedly committed against Ogun, as such the trial court lacked jurisdiction to try him.
The former governor had earlier approached the appellate court after a lower court dismissed his no-case submission on charges bordering on asset declaration, land allocation, and corrupt enrichment among others.
The trial had faced multiple setbacks following the failure to present witnesses.
Gbenga Daniel was arraigned on October 12, 2011, on 43-count charges of allegedly stealing and mismanaging about N7 billion as Ogun governor.
On April 16, 2012, he was re-arraigned on a 38-count charge for allegedly stealing and mismanaging N211.3 million, after the court dismissed the earlier case over the failure of EFCC to seek leave of court to amend the information it had presented.

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