EFCC traces £2.7m London property to Gov Daniel

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says it is investigating the source of the £2.7m London mansion allegedly traced to the Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.

The building, SUNDAY PUNCH gathered, is part of the alleged infractions being investigated in the state by the anti-fraud agency.

Our correspondent learnt that Daniel before becoming governor had on March 28, 2000 bought a ”modest bungalow” located at 39A, Park Hill Road, Croydon CRO5NF, United Kingdom.

He was said to have bought the property for £287,500; with title registration no SGL 41007.

He also on February 2, 2005, allegedly bought another property in Croydon for £1.73m.

The property named The Gaters, which the governor is said to have paid for on December 17, 2004, was handed over to ARC 3 Designers in Kent for renovation at the sum of £1m.

However, the state commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Sina Kawonise, on Saturday said 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.”

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