An Ogun State High Court sitting in Abeokuta on Friday, March 1, 2013 adjourned proceedings in a case involving a former governor of the State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel till April 22, 2013. The adjournment followed an application by Taiwo Osipitan, SAN, counsel to Daniel asking the court to stay proceedings pending the determination of an appeal filed at the Court of Appeal against Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje's refusal to quash counts 1-13 of the charges preferred against Daniel relating to fraudulent conversion of the state's land for his personal use.
At the last court session on Friday, February 22, 2013, counsel to the defendant, Mr. Taiwo Osipitan had sought the permission of the court to quash counts 1-13 of the charges relating to fraudulent conversion of the state's land for Daniel's personal use. Justice Mabekoje ruled against the application, prompting Daniel to proceed to the Court of Appeal.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Friday, March 1, 2013, Osipitan referred the court to his application filed at the Court of Appeal and consequently asked for a stay of proceeding and an adjournment pending the Court of Appeal's hearing on April 11, 2013.
EFCC's counsel, Adebisi Adeniyi, holding brief for Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, opposed the application citing section 40 of the EFCC Act, which specifically forbids such an application. "There's no order from any court directing your lordship to stay proceedings in this matter even the application at the court of appeal should not be a basis for this", Adeniyi said.
Adeniyi reminded the court of section 19 sub section 2 of the EFCC Act, 2004 which says all matter filed must be heard and given accelerated hearing in line with section 36 sub section 1 of the 1999 constitution.
Osipitan, in his response, said he was only asking for adjournment pending the hearing of motion for stay in the court of appeal. He further said his client have a right of appeal under section 241 paragraph 2B where application on pure point of law could be pursued without any hindrance.
Justice Mabekoje, after listening to all the arguments by counsel, granted an adjournment and not a stay of proceedings of the case. He adjourned the matter till April 22, 2013 for continuation of trial.
Media & Publicity Unit
1st March, 2013