Code of Conduct Tribunal finds ex-Niger-Delta Minister, Orubebe guilty

The Code of Conduct Tribunal has seized and forfeit the property allegedly belonging to the former minister of Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe.

Orubebe had earlier in November 8, 2015 been arraigned on a four-count charge of false asset declaration and bribery by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.

Godsday Orubebe is standing trial for non-declaration of asset on a certain property located at plot 2057 of Cadastral Zone, Asokoro District.

He had pleaded not guilty to the amended charge of false asset declaration on March 8 when he was re-arraigned.

The single count reads: “That you, Godsday Peter Orubebe on or about June 29, 2011 while being a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in charge of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable tribunal, did make a false declaration of assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau when you failed to declare Plot 2057, Asokoro District, Abuja on assumption of office on September 26, 2007 and on leaving office (at the end of your tenure) on June 29, 2011 and you hereby commit an offence contrary to section 15 of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act Cap 15 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under section 23(2) of the same Act.”

Speaking through his counsel, Selekowei Larry (SAN), Orubebe, who said he sold the plot of land at N10million, which he did not declare it when he assumed office in 2007 because it was not allocated to him then.

the land was allocated to him by the Federal Government, as a Minister, through the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister which he claimed not to have visited the area as he was not interested in the said property. Adding that, he sold it to pay his rents, at N5m per annum, for two years (2009-2010 & 2010-2011).

According to his lawyer, the accused should be discharged and release on bail as there is no evidence against him in respect of the charge for which his been trialled for.

In a Judgment which lasted for two hours, Justice Umar Danladi said that the accused ought to have registered the property long ago and not to have hidden it for his selfish purpose.

“How can a minister say he can’t afford to pay his rent? when if he calculate what he earns per annum it would be over 40 million Naira ” Danladi said

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