Federal Government yesterday amended the ‎charges preferred against a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.
The amendment which saw the number of the original counts filed against Orubebe reduced from four to one, has eliminated the charges bordering on alleged acceptance of N70million bribe by the ex-minister.
Only one out of the two counts bordering on false assets declaration ‎in the former charges was retained in the new charges filed by the Federal Government.
Lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Mohammed Diri, told the Danladi Umar-led CCT yesterday that the amended charge was dated March 7, 2016 but filed yesterday, March 8.
He said the amended charge was filed in line with provisions of section 214 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
The Director of Prosecution of the Federation, Mr. Diri said it was served on the defence some moments before the proceedings began yesterday.
The lead defence counsel, Chief Selekowei Larry, SAN, did not oppose the amendment.
The tribunal subsequently accepted the new charge and struck out the former ones.
The tribunal chairman, Justice Danladi Umar also directed the fresh charge be read to the defendant.
‎Orubebe pleaded not guilty to the charge yesterday.
The prosecution alleged that Orubebe failed to declare his asset at 2057, Asokoro District, Abuja when he assumed office as minister of Niger Delta affairs on 29 June, 2011.
The offence was said to have flouted the provisions of section 15 of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.
Orubebe was initially arraigned on November 8, 2015 before the ‎fresh amendment to the earlier four counts.
Diri told the tribunal yesterday that he had three proposed prosecution witness‎es and intended to call them in one day.
He sought an adjournment to open the prosecution’s case.
The case was adjourned till April 7, 2016 for continuation of trial.

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