Assets falsification: CCT to decide Orubebe’s fate on June 30

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has reserved judgment for June 30 in the trial of the immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Ministry, Elder Godsays Orubebe.

At the resumed hearing of the case in Abuja on Thirsday, the tribunal chose the date after Orubebe concluded his defence having called two witnesses, including himself.

The former minister had in November 8, 2015 arraigned before the tribunal 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 had announced an amendment to the charge, reducing the court to one but when the charge was read to him, he pleaded not guilty when he was re-arraigned.

The charge was subsequently   amended was re arraigned before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on an amended charge of one count.

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.

He said the land was allocated to him by the Federal Government, as a Minister, through the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister. He said never visited the plot if land because it was in an undeveloped part of Abuja, and that he sold to pay his rents, at N5m per annum, for two years (2009-2010 & 2010-2011).

Earlier, first defence witness, Akinwumi Ajibola, who described himself as a lawyer and Managing Director of Givention Properties Limited, said he was the landlord to whom Orubebe sold the plot of land.

He said when Orubebe, who was a tenant in his (Akinwumi’s) house in Ministers Quarters, Mabushi, Abuja, “had issues with his rents for 2010 and 2011 and he told me about his intention to sell a plot of land allocated to him, we agreed to use the unpaid rent for the land, which we bought at N10m.”

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