The case instituted by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission against former Minister of Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe, has been rescheduled following a domestic accident involving the former minister.
Orubebe is reported to have been injured on the leg in his Ministers Quarters apartment, thereby forcing the trial judge to move the case to next week, according documents sighted last night by our correspondent.
The government, through the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), filed the charges against the former minister at a federal capital territory (FCT) high court, Abuja.
Orubebe is to be arraigned alongside Oludare Lawrence Alaba, Ephraim Towelde Zaki and Gitto Construction Limited on a five-count charge of corruption, perjury, and diversion of about N2bn meant for the dualisation of Section IV of the East-West Road.
Count one of the charge reads: “That you, Elder Godsday Peter Orubebe, sometime in September 2015 or thereabout at the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Abuja, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did make false statement to officers of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICIP), Messrs Eric Anona, Isiona Okolo and Bukar Galadima in the course of their official duty, when you informed them in writing respecting the contract for the dualisation of Eket Urban Road that the decision to rehabilitate instead of dualisation was taken when you had left office as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which information you knew was false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 25 (1)(a) and punishable under Section 25 (1) (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.”
Count two reads: “That you, Elder Godsday Peter Orubebe, sometime between 2010 and 2014 or thereabout, while being a Hon. Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, deployed to the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Court, used your position as minister to confer an unfair advantage upon Gitto Costruzioni Generali (Nig.) Ltd by circumventing the approval of the Federal Executive Council respecting the contract for the dualization of the Eket-Oron Road when you took a decision to rehabilitate the road contrary to the award letter reference No. WR14522/Vol. 1/55 dated 28/09/2006 as approved by the Federal Executive Council and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under the section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and other related offences Act, 2000.”
But Orubebe told our correspondent last night that he was unduly being persecuted since he knew nothing about the said payment, which the ICPC investigated and found nothing incriminating against him about a year ago.
“My hands are clean and I did not do anything wrong throughout my tenure as Minister of Niger Delta. I want Nigerians to know that I am being unjustly persecuted and that what they are doing to me is unfair,” Orubebe said.