Case Against Orubebe Not Withdrawn – CCT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Tribunal has debunked recent publications from some section of mass media, indicating that the Federal Government has withdrawn charges against former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godsday Peter Orubebe.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.

President Jonathan Swears-In Eight New Ministers

president-jonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan has sworn in the eight  Ministers recently confirmed by the Senate before the commencement of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting.

The President assigned portfolios to them as follows: Senator Patricia Akwashiki (Minister of Information), Prof. Nicholas Ada (Minister of State, Foreign Affairs I), Senator Musiliu Obanikoro (Minister of State, Foreign Affairs II), Col. Augustine Akobundu, (Rtd.) (Minister of State for Defence), Mr. Fidelis Nwankwo (Minister of State for Health), Mrs. Hauwa Bappa (Minister of State, Niger Delta Affairs), Mr. Kenneth Kobani (Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment), and Senator Joel Ikeya (Minister of Labour and Productivity).

President Jonathan also named the Minister of State, Health, Khaliru Alhassan, as the Minister of Health.

Mr Alhassan has been acting as Supervising Minister of Health since Prof. Onyebuchi Ckukwu resigned in 2014.

In his address, after the swearing in ceremony, the President told the new Ministers to brace up for the challenges that comes with being sworn in at an injury time such as now.

Sam Ode Declares For Benue Governorship

Sam OdeFormer Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs and a governorship aspirant in Benue State, Dr. Sam Ode, has promised to fix the basic education sector challenges if elected Governor of Benue State.

While declaring his ambition to be governor come may 2015, Dr Sam Ode listed education, agriculture, cottage industries, health care and local government reforms as key sectors he would use to transform the state.

The governorship aspiration of Dr Sam Ode on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, is considered favourable and capable of fixing the infrastructural and social needs of the state among the 18 aspirants seeking to replace Governor Gabriel Suswam.

This was evident as the former minister arrived the IBB Square for his formal declaration amidst rousing ovation from his supporters.

Leaders from the three senatorial zones of Benue State, Salem Astehe, Ioryue Yajir and Sunday Onehi, also brought endorsement messages from their people.

Political watchers say Dr Sam Ode is considered a bridge between the two most dominant tribes in Benue State, the Tiv and Idoma, hence the dominant support he seems to be enjoying.

FG Announces Completion Date For East-West Road

road_nigerThe Federal Government has announced the first quarter of 2015 as the completion date for the East-West Road but however noted that that depends largely depends on the availability of funds.

The Supervising Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Darius Ishaku told a news conference in Abuja that the project has suffered several postponements because of the paucity of funds.

The minister, who said 70 per cent of the project has been completed, also blamed the topography of the region as one of the factors affecting the topography of the region is also affecting the project.

The project, according to the minister, which was started in 2010 has faced several challenges, chief among them is the availability of funds.

He noted that the total contract sum for the project is N349.9 billion naira but revealed that only N250 billion has been disbursed, leaving over N100 billion to be released.

The 338 kilometre road stretching from Effurun in Delta state to Oron in Akwa Ibom state cuts across four states in the Niger Delta region.

The design for the project has 42 bridges and 786 culverts, which are divided into five sections.

Boko Haram Is A Failure of Leadership – Ashiru

Dele Ashiru UNILAGA Political Scientist at the University of Lagos, UNILAG, Dele Ashiru, has attributed the state of insecurity in Nigeria to a failure of leadership, occasioned by the nature of Nigerian politics.

He also extended the purported leadership deficiency to the military forces which he accused of fighting terrorism without a strategy. Ashiru was Channels Television’s guest on Sunrise Daily.

He made reference to the Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, whom he accused of putting blames on the media rather than confronting the situation as the Chief of Defence Staff. He also berated the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Kingsley Kuku, for putting the responsibility of fighting Boko Haram on the people.

He asked, “Which people? The disillusioned people? The people who are on a daily basis being challenged by the failure of Government at all levels?”

“Boko Haram didn’t start as a terrorist organization; it became a terrorist group after the killing of Mohammed Yusuf. Until as we speak, the military captured Mohammed Yusuf alive, handed him over to the Police – if I’m correct, and between that space of two minutes, the guy was gone” he said, while explaining his earlier statement, “we must address the issue of justice.”

He noted that there cannot be peace without justice, irrespective of what the challenges facing the country were. He explained, “Whether you talk about militancy, agitation, or terrorism; at the root of all of these is the question of justice. There is injustice everywhere.”

He insisted that “Those who were extra judicially killed for whatever idea they profess deserve some form of justice and you need to also increase intelligence gathering.”

He continued, “Some people have been named; senators, governors – Kabiru Umar, was arrested in a government lodge in Abuja; Zakari Biu (Commissioner of Police who was dismissed for  engineering the jailbreak of Kabiru Sokoto). There is some kind of unholy alliance between some characters within the Nigerian state.”

On the role of the people in the fight against terrorism, he enthused, “the people can help only if they are sure that they have a leadership that can protect them in all ramifications.”