Trial of embattled former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT took a dramatic turn yesterday, as the prosecution counsel failed to produce witnesses against the ex-minister.
Elder Orubebe is facing a four count charge over alleged false declaration of assets and acceptance of about N70million bribe at the CCT.
After Orubebe pleaded not guilty to all the charges brought against him, the counsel to the prosecution, Ibrahim Usman, told the court that he would like to request an adjournment since his witnesses were not in court.
The defence counsel, Selekeowe Larry, SAN asked the tribunal to demand a statement of necessary evidences, according to rule 5 subsection 1 of the rules of the tribunal.
The tribunal judge, Umar Danladi, however, said the matter yearning for determination at the court was not for the prosecution counsel to state the evidence but for them to produce the said witnesses to do so.
He frowned at the inability of Mr. Usman and his team to produce the witnesses.
The request by Mr. Larry to have his client released on bail was not granted, as justice Danladi said the court had no reason to discuss his arrest or bail.
He said Mr. Orubebe was expected to always appear before the court.
Justice Danladi ruled that the matter be adjourned till 26 November for a definite hearing.
Count one reads: “That you, Godsday Peter Orubebe, while being a Minister of Federal Republic of Nigeria in charge of Niger Delta Affairs, on or about June 29, 2011 did make a false declaration in your asset declaration form by failing to declare plot 2722 Kyamu 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 thereby committed an offence under section 15 of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act Cap C15 and as incorporated under paragraph 11(1) & (2) of Part 1, Fifth Schedule to the Constitution and punishable under section 23(2) of the CCB & T Act.
“That you Godsday Peter Orubebe, while being a Minister of Federal Republic of Nigeria in charge of Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, on or about June 29, 2011 did make a false declaration in your asset declaration form by failing to declare plot 2059 Asokoro district, Abuja on assumption of office on September 26, 2007 and on June 29, 2011 and you thereby committed an offence under section 15 of the CCB & T Act, and punishable under section 23 (2) of the CCB & T Act.
“That you Godsday Peter Orubebe while being a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in charge of Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs on or about September 19, 2012 asked for and accepted the sum of fifty million naira from one Pastor (Dr.) Jonathan Alota, as bribe for the contract awarded in favour of his company, Chemtronics Nigeria Limited and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 10 of the CCB & T Act, and punishable under Section 23 (2) of CCB & T Act,” and;
“That you Godsday Orubebe, while being a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in charge of Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, on or about 2013 asked for and accepted the sum of twenty million naira from one Pastor (Dr.) Jonathan Alota as additional bribe for the contract awarded in favour of his company, Chemtronics Nigeria Limited for the construction of skill acquisition centre at Edo State for the sum of one billion seven hundred and ninety nine million, nine hundred and fourteen thousand two hundred and fifty naira eighty eight kobo only (N 1,799,914,251.88K) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 10 of CCB & T Act.”


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