Court Strikes Out Fraud Charges Against Orubebe

Court Strikes Out Fraud Charges Against Orubebe An Abuja High Court has struck out the six-count charge preferred against a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godsday Orubebe, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Mr Orubebe, who served under former President Goodluck Jonathan, and three other defendants were accused of alleged complicity in a 1.97 billion Naira contract fraud.

Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, however, discharged and acquitted them on Tuesday, following the withdrawal of the charge by the prosecution.

The court had earlier given the anti-graft agency till April 4, 2017, to produce its witnesses to establish that the defendants diverted the funds meant for the compensation of owners of properties of Eket Urban section of the East-West Road in Eket, Akwa Ibom State.

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.

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.

 

Trial Of Former Niger Delta Minister, Orubebe, Commences

OrubebeTrial of the former minister of Niger Delta Ministry, Mr Godsday Orubebe, has commenced.

The first prosecuting witness, one Samuel Madujemu, an investigator in the Asset Tracing Department of the Code of Conduct Bureau just began his testimony.

The witness said the former minister was issued asset declaration forms five times between 2007 and 2011.

According to him intelligence assessment was conducted on the claims made by Orubebe and it was discovered that there were some other properties allegedly traced to him that were not declared.

There after a record examination was conducted, by writing a letter to the Federal Capital Territory Department of Lands Administration ,which responded stating that plot number 2057 Asokoro District, Abuja with a C of O issued on 10th April 2011 belong to Mr Orubebe.

“We compared the information arising from the response of the FCT Department of Land Administration with the asset declaration, he made to the bureau between 2007 to 2011 and we discovered that the said plot was not declared to the bureau, even as at 29th May, 2011 when he left office”, the investigator said.

The witness sought to tender the documents gotten from the Federal Capital Territory Land Administration Department but counsel to Orubebe raised an objection

According to him the document was asked for and received on the 8th of February 2016, five clear months after the suit had been instituted against the former minister .

Case Against Orubebe Not Withdrawn – CCT

OrubebeThe Code of Conduct Tribunal has debunked recent publications from some section of mass media, indicating that the Federal Government has withdrawn charges against former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godsday Peter Orubebe.

This is according to a statement by the CCT Head of Press and Public Relations, Ibraheem Al-hassan.

The Tribunal said that it was compelled to refute the said publications, particularly those contained in some major newspapers and online media because the purported withdrawal of the case was quoted to be based on the case being fundamentally defective.

The CCT said, “To the best of our knowledge based on available records, as at the time of this report, the information is misleading, distortive and as such it should be ignored.

“The case of Mr Godsday Peter Orubebe before CCT in Charge NO: CCT/ABJ/02/15 is on-going.

“What transpired in court in the last session held on 8th March, 2016 was a substitution of the initial charge with a newly filed charge by the prosecution, of which leave was sought from, and granted by the Tribunal. The case had been adjourned to 7th April, 2016. Thus; there is no withdrawal of the case by the prosecution.”

Mr Orubebe has been arraigned before the Code of Conduct Tribunal on four counts of false assets declaration and bribery.

Mr Orubebe was 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.

The name, Orubebe, became well known in Nigeria after he attempted to stop the 2015 election collation, accusing the electoral body and its boss at that time, Professor Attahiru Jega, of being bias.

Tribunal Threatens To Strike Out 70m Naira Bribery Charges Against Orubebe

Godsday-OrubebeThe chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau, Mr Danladi Umar, is threatening to strike out the charges of bribery and false declaration of assets preferred against former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godsday Orubebe.

‎Mr Umar made the threat in Abuja on Wednesday after the prosecution failed for the third time on Wednesday to open its case against Mr Orubebe and call its witnesses.

The Tribunal Chairman, however refused to accede to the request by the defence counsel, Mr‎ Selekowei Larry, to strike out the case.

Instead, he announced that the prosecution would be given one more chance to open its case failing which the Tribunal will strike out the case for them to put their house in order.

The name, Orubebe, became well known in Nigeria after he attempted to scuttle the 2015 election, accusing the electoral body and its boss at that time, Professor Attahiru Jega, of being bais.

Orubebe’s Trial Stalled Again

OrubebeThe trial of the former Minister of Niger Delta, Mr Godsday Orubebe, over alleged false declaration of assets, has been stalled as the Code of Conduct Tribunal granted the Federal Government two months to amend the charges brought against him.

Chairman of the tribunal, Mr Danladi Yakubu Umar, granted the adjournment despite the accused person’s insistence that he was ready for the trial to go ahead.

The oral application by the lawyer to the Federal Government, Mr Peter Danladu, to alter the charge was, however, opposed by counsel to Orubebe, Mr Selekeowei Larry, who told the tribunal chairman that it was improper for such an application to be treated orally.

Mr Orubebe’s counsel told the tribunal that it was wrong in law for the tribunal and the accused to be taken unawares by the federal government, adding that the alteration to the charge has to be made in writing for all parties to see.

The Tribunal Chairman, after listening to both counsels, adjourned the trial to January 27, 2016.

Orubebe Docked At CCT As Prosecution Fails To Produce Witness

OrubebeThe former Minister of Niger Delta, Mr Godsday Orubebe, has entered a ‘not guilty’ plea for two count charges of false declaration of assets and another two counts of bribery.

Mr Orubebe in counts one and two was accused of failure to declare his assets at plot 2722 Kyamu and plot 2059 in Asokoro district both in Abuja on assumption of office as Minister on September 26, 2007.

In count three, he was accused of accepting 50 million naira bribe from one Pastor Jonathan Alota, on September 19, 2012 for award of contract in favour of his (Alota’s) company, Chemtronics Nigeria Limited.

In count four, he allegedly accepted additional 20million naira bribe from Alota in 2013 for the award of a contract to Chemtronics Nigeria Limited for the construction of skill acquisition centre at Edo State for the sum of 1.8billion naira.

Trial, however, could not commence as the prosecutor told the tribunal that he was not ready with his witnesses.

According to the prosecutor he would require time to get all of his witnesses ready. He therefore asked for two weeks extension to enable him commence with his case.

Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar, expressed disappointment at the failure of the prosecution to present its witnesses immediately after the arraignment.

He adjourned till November 26 ‎with a warning to the prosecution to come with all their witnesses on the next hearing date.

Orubebe Faces Bribery Trial At CCT 

Orubebe

Former Minister of Niger Delta, Mr Godsday Orubebe, is to be arraigned before the Code of Conduct Tribunal on four counts of false assets declaration and bribery.

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

The former Niger Delta Minister is to appear before the Justice Danladi Umar-led Code of Conduct Tribunal on November 9, 2015.

Mr Orubebe’s name was in the news after the Presidential election of March 28.

On 31 March 2015, Orubebe, acting as a polling agent for the Peoples Democratic Party, tried to disrupt the proceedings of the 2015 presidential election collation.

At the centre in Nigerias capital, Orubebe alleged that the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, had taken side with the opposition political party, All Progressives Congress.

He, however, subsequently apologised to Nigerians over his conduct by tendering an unreserved apology urging them not to follow in his footsteps and explaining that he regretted his action.

Orubebe Picks Delta State Governorship Nomination Form

sd_godsday_orubebe_on_eye_on_ministry_of_niger_delta_061112A former Minister of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godsday Orubebe, has picked the nomination form of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to vie for the delta state governorship sit in 2015.

Mr Orubebe picked the nomination form at the National Secretariat of the ruling party in Abuja on Tuesday amid cheers from supporters.

The aspirant promised to initiate policies that would improve the welfare of the people of Delta State.

The former minister was one of the members of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet that left on October 20 to pursue their political aspirations.

He was among several aspirants that picked their nomination forms on Tuesday at the party’s head office.

According to Mr Orubebe, his desire to vie for the governorship was driven by passion to improve the quality of lives of his people.

Mr Orubebe and his supporters believe that “his pedigree as a grass root politician is a huge advantage over other aspirants”.

The activities culminated with a special prayer at the Living Faith Church, Abuja, where the aspirant committed his aspirations in the hands of God.

For the former minister, the race to the Delta State Government House has begun and surely with high expectations from Deltans.

Group Calls For Removal Of Niger Delta Minister

A faction of Elders in the Delta State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), have called for the removal of the Minister of Niger Delta, Mr. Godsday Orubebe over alleged financial fraud.

The group took their protest to the head office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja.

But Mr Orubebe has dismissed the allegations, insisting that those calling for his sack do not have the understanding of what is going in the ministry.

Another faction of the group visited the office of the commission and asked the anti-graft agency to ignore the calls for the removal of Mr Orubebe.

The group, bearing several placards with different inscriptions, wants the Minister of Niger Delta to be investigated by the commission. The group is alleging that the minister abused his office in the award of contracts under his ministry.

When contacted for his reactions over the allegations, Mr. Orubebe explained that the process of awarding contract is primarily the responsibility of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

A faction of the Delta PDP elders took their petition to the head office of the Anti-graft agency. The group dismissed the earlier faction and praised the minister’s effort at addressing infrastructure in the region.

The minister said that the Jonathan administration is committed more than ever to the development of the Niger Delta and cannot be distracted by those who promote falsehood and negativity.

We Have Nothing To Do With Henry Okah’s Conviction – FG

The Federal Government has dissociated itself from the conviction of Henry Okah, the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) by a South African court following threats by the group to resume hostilities.

The government insisted that this is not the time to threaten Nigeria but to stand up in unity for it.

The embattled leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Henry Okah, who was recently convicted in South Africa for masterminding the 2010 Independence Day bombing in Abuja.

MEND had allegedly threatened to renew attacks and evolve fresh dimensions to it following the conviction of its leader in South Africa.

In a statement dated January 23, 2013 and signed by one Comrade Azizi, MEND insisted that the conviction of Mr Okah by the South African Court on all 13-count charge of involvement in the 2010 Independence Day bombing in Abuja which killed many people amounted to a betrayal.

It said Nigerians would feel its impact when it eventually commences attacks which it disclosed will not be restricted to the Niger Delta region.
Reacting to this threat, the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku insisted that Mr Okah was tried in South Africa under due process of the law of the country.

He said it was very shocking that any Nigerian or group would take up arms against Nigeria on account of that conviction.

The minister said on the contrary, expectation was that all citizens should show higher level of patriotism. He argued that, “We should not live in a nation where we should abandon the law.”

Mr Maku noted that citizens should understand that the country offers the best opportunity to live in and urged for support for the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.