The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has faulted the claim by Mr. Godwin Adeolu Dania, former Private Secretary to ex- governor of Edomite State, Mr. Lucky Igbinedion that he was not aware that the former governor took loans or guaranteed some loans for Gava Corporation.
At the resumed hearing of the N25b theft charge preferred against the younger brother to the former governor, Michael Igbinedion and six others by the EFCC at the Federal High Court, Benin on May 8, prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, retrieved and re-examined some documents already before the court, to establish that, Dania actually signed the acceptance documents for the various loans, along with one of the accused persons, Patrick Eboigbodin, who is presently standing trial alongside Micheal Igbinedion and their companies, Gava Corporation Limited, Romrig Nigeria Limited, PMI Securities Co. Limited and PML Nigeria limited.
Under cross examination, Jacobs asked Dania who signed the various board resolutions for the loan facilities obtained by Gava Corporation from former Intercontinental Bank (now Access Bank). Dania admitted that he signed the acceptance for the loans along with Patrick Eboigbodin.
According to Jacobs, as shown in the exhibit before the court, the first loan of N173 million, taken by Gava Corporation in February 2003, was signed by Dania; the second loan of N181.5 million obtained in 2003 while he was with the Edo state government as private secretary to Lucky Igbinedion, was signed by him. In 2004, Dania also signed acceptance and board resolution for a third loan of N200million, as well as a fourth loan for N120 Million in 2005.
When further asked who guaranteed each of the loans, Dania told the court that "His Excellency, Chief Lucky Igbinedion guaranteed the loans and I witnessed it and it was done during the period that Lucky Igbinedion was governor". Dania, who is a defense witness in the case, also told the court that all he did while in the governor’s office was in obedience to the governor’s directive.
He also told the court during cross-examination that Gava Corporation managed Ore Toll Plaza, and was also involved in importation of fish and wine as well as construction works. But went further to add that "I was not directly involved in these businesses, so I will not know what was realized and the payment made by them, because those businesses mentioned are what I was told, I was not involved in those businesses".
When Jacob questioned the witness on his knowledge of any one by the name: Adebayo Osho, Dania responded that, "he is a legal practitioner and a friend of the house, who comes around to see His Excellency, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, and he handled company documentation, and yes, he put my name in the capacity I acted on the governor’s instruction".
At this point, the presiding Judge, Justice A. M. Liman, adjourned the matter to Friday May 9, 2014, for continuation of hearing.
It would be recalled, that Justice Liman, yesterday, ordered Igbinedion to appear before him, in furtherance of his trial for money laundering, misappropriation of funds and abuse of office. The judge gave the order in response to an application filed before him by Jacobs, seeking an order of the court summoning the former governor to appear before it.
With the summon by the court, the former Governor is expected to be tried, alongside his younger brother, Micheal Igbinedion and Patrick Eboigbodin and their companies.
Media & Publicity
8th May, 2014