The Federal Government has withdrawn the four count charge it filed against a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, replacing it with a fresh one count charge.
The Federal Government arraigned Orubebe before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT over the alleged bribery.
The Director of Public Prosecution, Mohammed Diri, sought the leave of the court to withdraw the four count charge against Orubebe at the resumed sitting of the tribunal on Tuesday. The charges were filed on October 8, 2015.
According to Diri, the Federal Government had resolved to prosecute the former minister on an amended one-count charge bordering on allegation of false declaration of assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, contrary to section 15 of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Cap. 15 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2014.
The former minster, in his reaction to his arraignment before the CCT, had said in a statement then, that instead of being hounded, he deserves special recognition for his contributions to the economic well-being of the nation, insisting that he has never been corrupt.
He said: “I want to say categorically that I, Elder Godsday Orubebe was, is and will never be corrupt; as a minister, I never took any bribe from anybody throughout more than six years when I was a minister of the federal government of Nigeria.
“I dare any Nigerian to tell the people of this country if they ever gave me bribe,” he stated.
According to him, he personally collected the tribunal’s summons last Friday, adding that he had been wrongly blamed for the disappearance of N600 million that vanished during his successor’s tenure while some government departments have been inviting him for questioning unnecessarily.
“This simply tells me it is an issue of witch-hunt and it is not good for the development of this country,” he stated while urging President Mohammadu Buhari to stop government agencies’ undue harassment of perceived foes.
“If these things are coming out because of the role that I played at the International Conference Centre as an agent of the PDP, then it is unfortunate.
“The role I played that day, I played it diligently to the best of my ability as an agent representing my party and since that day, we have allowed sleeping dogs to lie quietly.
“God has given victory to Buhari, what we expected of him is to use his good office to carry everybody along, to move Nigeria forward.
“It would be sad to use that office that is meant to serve Nigerians, to try to intimidate people with government departments; before now, I had been called to appear before government institutions over things that I know nothing about,” he said.
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