ABEOKUTA – Former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, urging it to investigate and sanction two police officers seconded to it who claimed before a court that he was a killer and patron of a killer-squad, should the allegations be found to be untrue.
The two police officers, Ekele Ihinacho and Danladi Yathah, made the allegations in counter-affidavits filed on behalf of EFCC before a High Court in Abeokuta, Ogun State, in the two cases instituted by the anti-grant agency against Daniel.
In a letter by his lawyers, Bayo Osipitan and Co, dated June 13, 2012 and addressed to the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, Daniel noted that the two officers deposed to the counter-affidavits to oppose his applications for bail in the two cases, one of which has been discontinued.
In the letter, signed by Professor Taiwo Osipitan, SAN, and copied the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Daniel noted that the depositions were accorded wide publicity in the print and other news media, adding that these baseless allegations of being a murderer and of sponsoring a killer-squad had adversely affected him.
He said: “The publication has exposed and continues to expose our client to suffer hatred, and ridicule in the eyes of right-thinking members of the society within and outside Nigeria.
“The attempt by Danladi Yathah in his counter-affidavit to link our client with the death of Apagun Olumide falls flat in the face of the statement by Apagun Olumide to investigating officers of the EFCC.
“Evidently, Apagun Olumide’s statements were made under caution. Therefore, contrary to the depositions in the counter-affidavit of Danladi Yathah, Apagun Olumide was a suspect and not a potential prosecution witness. Nowhere in the statement did Apagun Olumide implicate our client.
“Finally, the presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Mabekoje, in his ruling on the bail application, held that there was no Evidence before him linking our client with the death of Apagun Olumide. None of the prosecution witnesses made any written statement to the aforementioned officers on the alleged killer squad.
“We note that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and her officers are not vested with the power to investigate homicide cases under the enabling law. Consequently, police officers posted to the EFCC lack the power to determine the culpability or otherwise of our client in the allegation of sponsoring a killer squad. Such allegation can only be investigated by officers of the State Homicide Unit who are so trained.
“If we may ask, why have these officers failed to refer their findings of the alleged killer squad to the Homicide Unit of the Ogun State Police Command? “The answer is very obvious. The allegation is baseless. This also explains why in the two counter-affidavits, they omitted to mention the names of the persons who informed them that our client maintains a killer squad.
“Our client’s humble prayer is that your commission should cause an investigation to be conducted into the allegations of being a killer and also a patron of a killer squad, which have been levelled against our client by Messrs Ekele Iheanacho and Danladi Yathah.
“Our client further requests that the said officers be sanctioned by your commission in the event of it being found that their said allegations against him are untrue.”