Witness says Orubebe did not declare Asokoro District property
• Group wants Umar to quit CCT
The Federal Government yesterday opened its case against former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, who is standing trial on a one-count charge of false asset declaration before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
First prosecution witness, Samuel Madojemu, an official of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), told the tribunal that Orubebe failed to declare his property at Plot 2057, Asokoro District, Abuja, as a minister between 2007 and 2011.
He said that Orubebe submitted five Assets Declaration Forms to the bureau within the period, first as Minister of Special Duties under the administration of the late President Umar Yar’Adua, and later as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs up till 2015 under the former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Madojemu said the Certificate of Occupancy for the property obtained from the land registry of the Federal Capital Territory Administration showed that it was issued to Orubebe on April 10, 2011 but that he failed to declare it as at the time of leaving office on May 29, 2011.
The witness, who was led in evidence by the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation, Mohammed Diri, said Orubebe refused to honour the CCB’s invitation during the investigation of an intelligence report obtained concerning him.
He went on: “We conducted intelligence assessment on the declaration made by the defendant. We discovered that there were some other plots or properties that were traced to the defendant.”
But counsel to Orubebe, Mr Selekowei Larry (SAN), opposed the admissibility of the Certificate of Occupancy, the Right of Occupancy and the accompanying letter from FCT Department of Land Administration based on the fact that it was obtained while the case was pending in the tribunal.
Meanwhile, a group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA)
has renewed its call on the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Danladi Umar, to resign.
“This is because of his official indictment on allegation of corruption by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, following his investigation and that of his Personal Assistant, Ali Gambo Abdullahi, over alleged N10 million extortion,” HURIWA said at a press briefing in Abuja yesterday.
“Recall that the Fifth Schedule, Part 1, Article One (Section 15 (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) which is the code of conduct for public officers in generic terms specified that ‘a public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities’.
“In consonance with this fact, HURIWA states that Danladi Umar is still on an administration bail in the sum of N5 million from the EFCC in the matter of “A case of conspiracy, bribery, abuse of office and money laundering” CR/NO: 035/2013 in a complaint filed by one Rasheed Owolabi Taiwo. We have also accessed a report written by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to the former President Goodluck Jonathan on the 12th of may 2014 recommending his removal from office.
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