BREAKING: Orubebe guilty of false declaration of asset

Godsday Orubebe, a former minister of Niger Delta affairs has been found guilty of false declaration of assets by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) 

Danladi Umar, chairman of the tribunal said Orubebe committed an offence for not declaring a piece of property in Abuja, which he claimed he had sold and gave him a light sentence.



Godsday Orubebe, ex-minister of Niger Delta Affairs, has claimed Nigeria is paying him back for his service with criminal charges against him

Godsday Orubebe, a former minister of Niger Delta affairs has been found guilty of false declaration of assets by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Convicting Orubebe, Danladi Umar, chairman of the tribunal said Orubebe committed an offence for not declaring a piece of property in Abuja, which he claimed he had sold and gave him a light sentence, The Cable is reporting.

“‎I hereby seize, on behalf of the federal government, the property known as plot 2057,” Justice Umar ruled.

 “The prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt, and all evidence tendered are admitted.”

 The federal government had filed a one-count charge of false declaration of asset against Orubebe claiming he committed the offence while he was a public officer.

 Orubebe is well known for his outburst at the national collation centre of the 2015 presidential election, in an attempt to halt the declaration of results of the election.


But Orubebe’s lawyer, Mr Selekowei Larry (SAN) says he would appeal against the judgment which he described as “travesty of Justice”.

Selekowei said the verdict was a clear example of “convict him at all cost” syndrome.

On his part, the defendant (Orubebe) admitted that the plot was allocated to him by the government in 2007 as part of his ministerial entitlements.

 He told the tribunal that he decided to sale the land after he defaulted in the payment of his Abuja house for two years.

 He told the tribunal that whereas his monthly salary and every other allowances he collected in 2007 amounted to only N1. 3m, he said the salary was further reduced to N990, 000 in 2008.

 “My lord as at September 26, 2007, I never had a property named plot 2057 Asokoro District, Abuja. So I could not have declared it upon my assumption of office as a Minister.

 “On June 29, 2011 when I was temporarily dis-engaged from the Federal Executive Council when it was dissolved before I was re-appointed, I never also had Plot 2057 Asokoro District.

 So I could not have declared it as mine because it was no longer my property. “But other pieces of land that was given to me by the government I served, I declared them.

“My lord the plot in question which was ordinary empty land in the bush that was given to me by the federal government that I served, bear the offer letter from the FCT Minister. “I decided to give it out to my landlord, Barr. Ajibola to settle for my two years house rent.

This is because my lord in this country, so many people do not know that the annual salary of a Minister, accommodation, transportation and inclusive of everything, per month in 2007, was N1.3m, by 2008, it came down to N990, 000.

“So my lord, the annual salary of a Minister from that time and even today cannot pay rent for him in befitting places like Maitama, Asokoro, Mabushi or Wuse 2. “All Ministers in the FEC were given offer letters.

Therefore when I got the offer letter for the land, I saw it as an opportunity to settle my house rent. “My lord I never saw the land and the C of O. The same day it was given to me was the same day I parted with it for N10m for two years house rent of N5m each.

“My lord I was never invited to the Code of Conduct Bureau in any form, either by telephone or by a written letter. I did not know anything about these issues until the day I was served with a letter to appear before this tribunal.

“I served this country as a Minister for six years and four months and I do respect government officials.

“If only the Bureau had invited me I would have gone. Even if only to clarify things for them which is a simple thing to do.

“From the day this case started I have never failed any sitting. Even when a medical trip was given to me and the court later fixed date on that day I cancelled my trip and appeared because my conscience is clear. “I love this country, but I have a pain in my heart.

When oil production went down to 700, 000 barrels per day, this was the man, the only Minister that went to the creeks to meet the militants. I slept in the creeks with militants for two weeks, an effort that led to the amnesty programme and subsequent increase of oil production from 700, 000 barrels to 2.6m barrels.

“The same country that I served is now taking me through this rigours over an ordinary empty plot of land it also gave to me which I sold to pay my rent to have a roof over my head to be able to serve.

“This is my regret. Now the Niger Delta is boiling again, who will see what I am going through and agree to stick out his neck.

“My country has not treated me well, my lord my heart is heavy. I am a sad ma,” Orubebe lamented from the witness box.

Recall that Godsday Orubebe had revealed that he had a very good relationship with Muhammadu Buhari before he emerged as president.

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