The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) sitting in Abuja on Tuesday found former Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Orubebe, guilty of non-declaration of a property in Asokoro, Abuja.
Orubebe had pleaded not guilty to the charges, but in his ruling on the matter, the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar, announced a forfeiture of the property.
“I hereby seize on behalf of the federal government, the property known as plot 2057,” Umar ruled in what was an unexpectedly lenient judgement.
Umar explained that the testimonies and document presented by the prosecution prove that the former minister is guilty as charged.
He further stated that while the minister claimed that the property was on rent from the federal government, the rejection of the claim by his former landlord to allow him exercise his right over the property rendered the power of attorney useless.
The former Minister had pleaded ‘not guilty’ for two count charges of false declaration of assets and another two counts of bribery when arraigned before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
Mr Orubebe was charged by the Code of Conduct Bureau for alleged failure to declare landed property in Kyamu and Asokoro district, both in Abuja, on assumption of office as minister on September 26, 2007.
In the other counts, Mr Orubebe was also accused of allegedly accepting bribes totaling 70 million naira for the award of contracts in favour of his company.
Orubebe’s lawyer, Larry Izimoje, condemned the ruling.
“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, while stating his plan to appeal the ruling.