The Federal Government closed its case against a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr.Godsday Orubebe, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja, after the first prosecution witness, Mr. Samuel Madojemu, completed his evidence on Tuesday. The prosecuting team is led by the Director, Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Diri. The Federal Government is prosecuting Orubebe on one count of failure to declare his property at Plot 2057, Asokoro District, Abuja, in his asset declaration forms submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau as a minister between 2007 and 2011. Madojemu, an official of the Code of Conduct Bureau completed his evidence on Tuesday after he was cross-examined by the defence counsel, Mr. Selekowei Larry (SAN).
After Larry completed the cross-examination on Tuesday, the counsel for the prosecution, Ejike Orji, announced the decision of DPPF-led team to close its case against the defendant. “My lord, that will be all for the prosecution. We are satisfied with the evidence of the prosecution witness,” Orji said. However, when the tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar, asked the defence lawyer to open his client’s case, Larry sought for time to prepare the defence’s witnesses. He said the defence was not aware that the prosecution would end its case so soon. He said the defence intended to call just two witnesses. Umar then adjourned till May 31 for the defence to open its case.
The only prosecution witness, Samuel Madojemu, an official of the CCB, had, in his evidence-in-chief on April 7, given details of how the CCB discovered the property owned by the ex-minister in Abuja but which Orubebe allegedly failed to disclose as his. Madojemu said Orubebe failed to declare the property identified as Plot 2057, Asokoro District, Abuja, while he served as a minister between 2007 and 2011. He said Orubebe submitted five asset declaration forms to the CCB between 2007 and 2011, copies of which were admitted by the CCT as exhibits.
Giving details of how the CCB discovered that the ex-minister owned the property, the witness explained that the Certificate of Occupancy for the property, obtained from the Department of Land Administration of the Federal Capital Territory, revealed that it was issued to Orubebe on April 10, 2011. He added that the former minister, however, failed to declare it as of the time of leaving office on May 29, 2011. The witness stated that Orubebe ignored the CCB’s invitation to him to make statements during the investigation of the case.