The House of Representatives on Thursday directed two of its standing committees to commence an investigation into allegations of corrupt practices brought against the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe.
The motion presented by a member of the House, Olesegun Odeneye (Ogun State) reminded the House of allegations that the minister has paid for many phantom projects, and is presently residing in a house, built and handed over to him by a construction company which he has failed to declare in his asset declaration.
“A case has been made against the minister as it relates to a house built for him by Setraco Construction Company at Mabushi district here in Abuja. It has been found that he failed to declare the house in his asset declaration form with the Code of Conduct Bureau,” Mr Odeneye said.
The House subsequently mandated its committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes to investigate the matter and make appropriate recommendations to the House within 21 days.
The House further directed the ministry of Finance, the Central Bank and the Accountant General of the federation to suspend all payments into the ministry over what it described as bogus contracts, except the East West road projects until the completion of investigation to verify the authenticity of certificates pending for payment.
The deputy speaker, who presided, ruled that the motion should not be debated until investigations are completed.
A non-governmental organisation, Anti-Corruption Network, led by former member of the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye had accused Mr Orubebe of using his office to divert public fund for his personal use. The organisation provided photos of a residence it claimed was built for the Minister in the Mabushi area of Abuja.
Leader of the group had alleged that Setraco built and delivered the new mansion to Mr Orubebe in less than six months after the company benefitted from contracts to build part of the East-West highway in the Delta region.