The Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, yesterday in Abuja granted the Federal Government two months to amend the charges of false declaration of assets brought against the former minister of Niger Delta, Chief Godsday Peter Orubebe
Chairman of the tribunal, Mr. Danladi Yakubu Umar granted the adjournment even when the accused person repeatedly insisted that he was ready for the trial to go ahead.
Counsel to the federal government, Mr. Peter Danladi leading the prosecution team had sought to alter the charges filed against Orubebe who was put on trial for allegedly receiving N70million bribe from a contractor and also for fraudulent declaration of his assets.
The oral application to alter the charge was however opposed by counsel to Orubebe, Mr. Selekeowei Larry, SAN, who told the tribunal chairman that it was improper for such an application to be treated orally.
The SAN disclosed that it was wrong in law for the tribunal and the accused to be caught unaware by the federal government, adding that the alteration to be charged has to be made in writing for all parties to see.
At this stage, the government counsel applied for two months adjournment and was expressly granted.
Orubebe’s lawyer in an interview with newsmen at the tribunal dismissed the charges against his client as being frivolous, baseless and unjustifiable, adding that the charge will collapse at the trial.
The tribunal chairman has however adjourned the trial till January 27 next year.
Nigerian Pilot recalled the same tribunal had last month refused to grant the senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki one month adjournment to enable him source for lawyers when his counsels withdrew their services in protest against alleged shoddy conduct of proceedings.
The Federal Government had last month arraigned the former minister over alleged N70 million bribe and non declaration of assets.
At the resumed trial last month, when the charge was read to the accused person, he pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In the charge sheet that was signed by Peter Danladi of Code of Conduct Bureau on October 18, on behalf of Attorney General of the Federation, Orubebe was alleged to have while being a Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, on or about June 29, 2011 made a false declaration in his Asset Declaration Form by failing to declare plot 2722 Kyamu District, Abuja on assumption of office on 26th September 2007 and on leaving office (at the end of his tenure), on June 29, 2011 and thereby committed an offence under Section 15 of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act Cap C15 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and as incorporated under paragraph 11(1) & (2) of part 1 Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and punishable under Section 23(2) of the CCB & T Act and as incorporated under paragraph 18 of part 1, Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Also, the former minister was alleged to have while being the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, on or about June 29, 2011 did make a false declaration in his 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 thereby committed an offence under Section 15 of the CCB & T Act, Cap C15, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and as incorporated under paragraph 11(1) & (2) of part one Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), and punishable under Section 23 (2) of the CCB & T Act and as incorporated in paragraph 18 part 1 Fifth Schedule to The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Also, Orubebe was alleged to have while being the Minister 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 thereby committed an offence contrary to section 10 of the CCB & T Act CAP C15 laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004 and as incorporated under paragraph 1 Federal Republic of Nigeria and punishable under section 23 (2) of CCB & T Act as incorporated under paragraph 18 of part 1, fifth schedule to the Constitution (as amended).
In the fourth count, Orubebe was alleged to have while being the Minister 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 (N1,799,914,251.88K) and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 10 of CCB & Act as incorporated under paragraph 18 of part 1 Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).


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