Thursday, June 2, 2016

CCT fixes June 30 for judgment in Orubebe’s trial

I sold my land to pay rent – Orubebe

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has scheduled judgment for June 30 in the trial of former Niger Delta Minister, Godsays Orubebe. According to The Nation, the tribunal chose the date on Thursday after Orubebe concluded his defence having called two witnesses, including himself.

Orubebe was earlier in November 8, 2015 arraigned on a four-count charge of false asset declaration and bribery by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation. The prosecution, on March 8 this year, announced an amendment to the charge, reducing the court to one. He pleaded not guilty to the amended charge of false asset declaration on March 8 when he was re-arraigned.

The charge was amended was re arraigned  before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on an amended charge of one count. The single count  reads: “That you, Godsday Peter Orubebe on or about June 29, 2011 while being a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in charge of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable tribunal, did make a false declaration of assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau when you failed to declare Plot 2057, Asokoro 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 hereby commit an offence contrary to section 15 of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act Cap 15 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under section 23(2) of the same Act.”

While testifying as the second defence witness on Thursday, Orubebe explained that he failed to declare the plot of land in 2011 because he had sold it to his landlord before he made the last asset declaration while leaving office. Led in evidence by his lawyer, Selekowei Larry (SAN), Orubebe, who said he sold the barren plot of land at N10million, explained that he also did not declare it when he assumed office in 2007 because it was not allocated to him then.

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