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Corruption: Court frees Daniel

The EFCC filed a 43-count charge including financial misappropriation and abuse of office in the court presided over by Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje, who ruled that the EFCC failed to follow due process in amending the initial charges brought against him and subsequently dismissed the case.

Mabekoje said the commission failed to disclose enough particulars which the applicants can be called upon to face trial, that is, the charge when read together with the proof of evidence discloses no offence which the applicant can be tried for. He said “when the prosecuting counts are compared and contrasted with the proof of evidence and the ingredients of all the alleged offences, the result is that the entire information is an abuse of court process. “The adverse publicity mounted by the EFCC in print and news media on the on the culpability of the applicant in relation to the various counts are prejudicial to fair hearing and makes it necessary for the trial of the case not to take place.”

Mabekoje said  that instead of seeking the leave of the court in amending the charges, which were initially 16, the EFCC rather relied on the Ogun State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Wemimo Ogunde, SAN. “It will therefore be improper to determine in advance in this application issues that may still come up for determination. The facts and circumstances of this case therefore bring this matter within the confines of the above stated recognized exception. I however hold that this action has not been initiated by due process and upon fulfillment of the condition precedent in exercise of the jurisdiction of the court, the information filed against the applicant is accordingly quashed. In recognizance entered into by him is hereby discharged.”

After the ruling, which lasted for about an hour, Daniel’s lead counsel, Taiwo Osipitan, SAN, said he was set to confront the EFCC again if the commission decides to file the charges afresh. Osipitan reiterated the innocence of his client, saying justice has been done by the court.

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