Gbenga Daniel, a former governor of Ogun State, has insisted that no money was stolen from the state’s treasury while he superintended as the state’s leader from 2003 to 2011.
Daniel made his position known in a statement issued by Ayo Giwa, his spokesperson, in reaction to a publication entitled: “10 govs who may suffer Kalu’s fate”, by the Sunday Punch.
The former governor is currently facing trial over a N200 million fraud allegation levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He claimed that despite the trial ongoing for the last eight years, the EFCC has not been able to present concrete evidence against him.
He accused his successor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, of instigating the persecution against him, and described the proceedings as a charade.
Daniel explained that the charge, which began with an alleged N87 billion fraud, had been amended on three different occasions, with the amounts claimed to have been stolen being reduced to N52 billion, N9 billion and N200 million.
The statement read: “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 insisted that most of the subsisting charges are based on administrative procedures and executive discretion.
“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,” the statement read.