The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has found Godsday Orubebe, former minister of Niger Delta affairs, guilty of false declaration of assets. Danladi Umar, chairman of the tribunal, delivered the judgment convicting Orubebe of the offence. However, he gave him a light sentence.
“I hereby seize, on behalf of the federal government, the property known as plot 2057,” he ruled. “The prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt, and all evidence tendered are admitted.” He held that Orubebe committed an offence for not declaring a piece of property in Abuja, which he claimed he had sold. The federal government had filed a one-count charge of false declaration of assets against Orubebe.
The government claimed that he committed the offence while he was a public officer. The former minister is better known for his outburst at the national collation centre of the 2015 presidential election, in an attempt to prevent Attahiru Jega, a professor of political science and chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from declaring the results of the election.
Speaking with journalists at the end of the proceedings, Larry Izimoje, Orubebe’s lawyer, described the judgment as a travesty of justice. “This is beyond travesty of justice. I can say that this is a case of whether you like it or not, I must convict you,” he said. “That’s what played out today. Thank goodness, this is not where it ends. The court of appeal is there, so we will definitely appeal against it.” The government claimed that he committed the offence while he was a public officer.