Ogun State governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel is embroiled in London homes purchase controversy with Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) taking keen interest in knowing the source of the £2.7 million which he spent in purchasing the London mansions.
Details of the purchase have been made available for EFCC perusal and onward investigation while the governor’s previous engagement and earnings prior to his governorship adventure are said to be engaging EFCC’s special interest and periscoping.
Daniel was said to have bought a ‘modest bungalow’ located at 39A, Park Hill Road, Croydon CRO5NF, United Kingdom for £287,500, with title registration no SGL 41007 before becoming governor 28 March, 2000.
On 2 February, 2005, he allegedly bought another property in Croydon for £1.73m. The property, named The Gaters, which the governor is said to have paid for on 17 December, 2004, was handed over to ARC 3 Designers in Kent for renovation at the sum of £1 million.
Details of the transaction were contained in report by nigeria2dayonline
However, the state commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Sina Kawonise, on Saturday claimed the allegation was not new.
The governor, he said, owned houses in the UK and that the properties were contained in his asset declaration form. Kawonise described the allegation of an illegally acquired UK property by the governor as “yet another sinister move by the enemies of the state.”
The commissioner added, “The issue of Governor Daniel owning property in London is not new. I wish to confirm that the Governor owns several properties in the United Kingdom.
“The list of these is contained in the statutory asset declaration the Governor made with the Code of Conduct Bureau both in 2003 and 2007.
“It will be recalled that the Governor was among the few public officials to publicly declare their assets. All that is needed is for any interested person to obtain whatever information or confirmation of this from the Code of Conduct Bureau.”
The state government had already initiated an action in court to stop the EFCC from further prying into the affairs of the state, accusing the commission of pursuing political agenda.
Kawonise, had earlier denied the alleged financial misconduct levelled against the state.
Clarifying that the executive was not averse to investigation of its finances, he said the role should be left for the state’s House of Assembly.
According to him, the state House of Assembly is vested with the sole powers to investigate the executive.
Kawonise had accused the EFCC of merely allowing itself to be used by political opponents of the governor to pull the government down ahead of the 2011 election.
The Head, Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Femi Babafemi, confirmed that the London property allegedly owned by the governor had also come under investigation by the commission.
He said, “There are several issues we are trying to unknot in Ogun State. The London property said to have been bought in the name of the governor is part of it. No further details will be released for now.”
Source:SR and Punch