The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) yesterday said it had arraigned former Niger Delta Affairs Minister Godsday Orubebe, before a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, in Maitama District in Abuja, for alleged N1.97 billlion fraud according to reports from OakTv.

The commission accused Orubebe of allegedly diverting the votes meant for the compensation of owners of properties on Eket Urban section of the East-West Road in Eket, Akwa Ibom State.

Orubebe, who had failed twice to appear in court, is facing a six-count charge before Justice Olukayode Adeniyi.

He is on trial with an Assistant Director at the Ministry of Niger-Delta Affairs, Mr. Oludare Davis Alaba, and the Director of Contracts, Gitto Costruzioni Generali Nig. Ltd., Mr. Ephraim Towede Zari.

A statement by ICPC spokesperson Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa quoted counsel to ICPC Mr. Ekoi Akpos, as saying that  the offences contravened sections 25 (i), (b); 19, 22(5); of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 and Sections 96, 312 and 323 of the Penal Code laws of FCT 2006.

Part of the charge reads:  “Diverting the sum of N1, 965,576,153.46 out of the sum of N2, 320,686,826.00 initially released by the Federal Government meant for the compensation of owners of properties on Eket Urban section of the East- West Road.

“Conferring unfair advantage upon Gitto Costruzioni Generali Nig. Ltd, by circumventing the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the dualization of the Eket Urban road  where the former Minister`s decision to rehabilitate the road instead of dualization  falls contrary to the award letter No.WR14522/VOL.1/55 dated 28/09/2006 as approved by the FEC; and making false statements to operatives of the ICPC where he mentioned in his  written statement that the decision to rehabilitate the Eket Urban road was taken after he had left office as Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs.’ The ex-Minister and the co-accused pleaded not guilty to the charge when read to them.

“Their counsel, F. Zimuan, representing Orubebe, K. Asunogie, representing Alaba and Kanu Agabi (SAN), representing Zari, who is a Lebanese, pleaded with the court to grant their clients bail on liberal terms. Zimuan specifically urged the court to grant Orubebe bail on self- recognition, having served as a minister.

Justice Adeniyi admitted the ex-Minister to bail in the sum of N10 million and a surety who must be resident in Abuja, with evidence of three years tax clearance.

He admitted Alaba to bail in the sum of N20 million and a surety who must be an employee of the Federal Government not below the rank of an assistant director.

The third accused Mr. Zari, was granted bail by the judge in the sum of N20 million and one surety who must be resident in Abuja, under the jurisdiction of the court.

Justice Adeniyi ruled at the end of the arraignment that all the accused persons be kept in ICPC custody pending the fulfillment of their bail applications and then adjourned the case to 10th November, 2016 for hearing.

By floramichaels

Hi, I am Flora Ngo-Martins. I love writing and I am passionate about fashion, stories, news and food. Sometimes I get a little bit serious but that's alright, I can also be mischievous. I also like to analyse stuffs people do and sometimes judge.*wink* Most of all, I love to influence the lives of people positively and tell people's stories from a totally different perspective. Feel free to contact me if you have any suggestions or....

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