CCT Fixes September 21 For Judgement On Orubebe’s Case

OrubebeThe Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Mr Danladi Umar has approved September 21 for the delivery of judgment in the case against a former Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godsday Orubebe.

The judgment is to be delivered in the case of alleged false declaration of assets preferred against the former minister.

The notice of the Tribunal’s sitting schedule for the month of September and October also contains the case of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, whose motion has been slated for ruling on October 5.

Senator Saraki is seeking the withdrawal of the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal from the trial over alleged bias.

Mr Orubebe has denied the allegations, saying he does not own any property which was not declared in his asset declaration form submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

Led in evidence on June 2 by his lawyer, Larry Selekowei, the former minister told the Tribunal that he did not declare Plot 2057 in Asokoro for which he is standing trial , because as at the time he was leaving the government in 2011, he had sold off the land to pay two years house rent.

Mr Orubebe had in 2015 tried to scuttle the collation process of the Presidential election, accusing the electoral body of being bais.

The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal had in April dismissed the application filed by Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki seeking his withdrawal from the trial, holding that the application lacked merit.

In his ruling, Justice Danladi Umar said that the Attorney-General of the Federation has no powers to investigate any person.

“It is only the security and law enforcement agencies that have that power and it is only when they have concluded their investigation that the Attorney-General can prosecute,” he claimed.

The counsel to the Senate President, Mr Raphael Oluyede, had during the hearing insisted that Mr Danladi was still under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the same agency that allegedly filed the criminal charges against him.

He alleged that it was obvious that the said investigation was used as a bait by the EFCC to get Mr Danladi to do its bidding.

 

 

Orubebe Denies Wrongdoing In False Asset Declaration Trial

OrubebeFormer Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godsday Orubebe, says he does not own any property which was not declared in his asset declaration form submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

Led in evidence by his lawyer, Larry Selekowei, the former minister told the Tribunal that he did not declare Plot 2057 in Asokoro for which he is standing trial , because as at the time he was leaving government in 2011, he had sold off the land to pay two years house rent.

Orubebe told the tribunal that the land for which he is being charged was allocated to him by the government but he sold it to his landlord, one Akinwumi Ajibola, for N10 million to offset the two-year house rent he owed the said landlord.

He said it would have been a crime for him to claim ownership of the property he had sold and the Certificate of Occupancy handed over to the buyer before he left office.

He also told the tribunal that he never saw the Certificate of Occupancy of the land, which was handed over to his landlord after he agreed to exchange the property for rent.

He therefore urged the tribunal to dismiss the charge against him because he had not breached any law concerning the property.

Corroborating his testimony, Mr Akinwumi Ajibola confirmed to the Tribunal that he was the former landlord of the minister and that the minister owed him N10 million for two-year house rent.

He said he is also a real estate developer and that the former minister parted with the empty land allocated to him to offset the debt.

He told the tribunal that the Certificate of Occupancy was handed over to him at the end of the transaction.

Under cross-examination by the prosecutor, Mohammed Diri, the witness said he did not register the Power of Attorney and the Deed of Assignment because what he bought was an empty land in the bush and he was not ready to develop it at that time.

He also said that at the point he wanted to develop the said property he found out that someone else had encroached on it and that he has entered into a discussion with the company that encroached on the said property.

The former minister is standing trial on one-count charge of false declaration assets by the Code of Conduct Bureau.

FG Closes Case Against Orubebe As Court Adjourns Trial Till May 31

OrubebeThe trial of the former Minister for Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe has been adjourned to May 31 to enable the defendant open his defence.

At the continuation of trial on Tuesday, the prosecutor, Mr Mohammed Diri, told the court that he was closing his case, having called one witness as against three witnesses he earlier mentioned.

The defence counsel, Larry Selekowei, however, informed the Tribunal that he intended to call his first defence witness but was taken by surprise that the prosecutor closed his case.

He added that his witnesses were not in court and sought an adjournment to enable him properly open his defence.

The Tribunal Chairman, Justice Umar Danladi, then adjourned till May 31.

At the last sitting, cross examination of the first prosecution witness, Sam Madojemu, ended as he insisted that the former Minister failed to declare his full asset while in office particularly the alleged property in Asokoro, Abuja.

Mr Orubebe is being charged by the Code of Conduct Bureau for alleged failure to declare the landed property.

In the other counts, he is also facing charges for allegedly accepting bribes totalling 70 million Naira from one Pastor Jonathan Alota for the award of contracts in favour of his company.

False Assets Declaration: First Witness Testifies In Orubebe’s Trial

OrubebeThe first prosecution witness in the trial of former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godsday Orubebe, on Thursday testified.

The witness, Mr Samuel Madojemu, said the former minister failed to declare Plot 2057 Cadastral Zone, Asokoro, a property he owns in Abuja.

Speaking under cross examination, he added that a document obtained by him from the FCT Land Registry as the investigator for the tribunal, indicates that there were three plots of land allocated to Orubebe out of which he declared only two.

He said the plot in question, which was allocated to the former minister on April 10, 2011, was not declared as at the time he was leaving office as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and at the end of tenure declaration document signed by him on April 27, 2011.

The witness said there was no place in the asset declaration form where Mr Orubebe indicated that the said plot was given to him by the federal government free of charge.

He testified under re-examination by prosecutor, Mohammed Diri, that he invited the defendant via telephone to come and clarify issues regarding the said plot, an invitation he failed to honour and reason for which, the prosecution says he should be held accountable .

But the defense counsel, Larry Selekowei, who ascertained during cross-examination of the witness that he did not confirm in his investigation that the documents were delivered to the former minister before his declaration of assets, insists there is no credible evidence against his client.

Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar, has adjourned the case till Tuesday, May 24 for cross examination of the second prosecution witness.

Mr Orubebe is being charged by the Code of Conduct Bureau for alleged failure to declare landed property in Kyamu and Asokoro District, both in Abuja, on assumption of office as minister on September 26, 2007.

In the other counts, Mr Orubebe is also facing charges of allegedly accepting bribes totalling 70 million naira from one Pastor Jonathan Alota for the award of contracts in favour of his company.