The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL has applauded the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT for the conviction of a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godsday Orubebe, for failing to declare one of his assets. The asset; a house located at Plot 2057, Asokoro District, Abuja, was not declared by Mr. Orubebe in his asset declaration forms when he was serving as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Executive Chairman of the Coalition said “we are excited by this development as it apparently records the first conviction of a politically exposed person by the Tribunal. It is a welcomed development; we believe that is the way to go, which is why we have always emphasized the imperativeness of having no ‘sacred cows’ in the war against corruption.”
“We must demystify the criminal elements in our midst; the ‘untouchables’ and the ‘sacred cows’ by lawfully smashing the walls the ‘big and mighty’ utilize to escape justice even when they are evidently culpable in looting our treasury. They loot our Commonwealth with reckless abandon and bare-faced impunity, yet they walk freely while the society writhe in the pains and pangs occasioned by their thieveries and primitive accumulation.”
In delivering his judgment, the Chairman of the CCT, Justice Danladi Umar ruled that the property which Orubebe failed to list during the asset declaration exercise before he became the Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs in 2007 would be forfeited.
Adeniran however, asked for more than just the forfeiture of the property, he said, “it rather unfortunate that the CCT does not have the powers to go beyond seizing the property. It would have been better if the CCT could also commit persons to prison to jail in concurrence with what they fail to consciously declare. That kind of punishment will go along in serving as deterrent to other dubious public officials who are still abound in our public and elected offices.”
“We definitely need to reform our laws to make it difficult for unscrupulous elements to escape justice for their corrupt practices. The anti-graft agencies should take closer look into the Orubebe’s activities as the Minister of the Niger Delta as there are allegations of bribery and sharp practices under his watch including the awarding contracts to his own company.” He added
“We are calling on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in particular, to move from where the CCT has stopped to ensure that justice is served. The Commission should investigate the source of the funds used to acquire the palatial property in question and the other properties of Mr. Orubebe, his legitimate source of earnings should be investigated to establish if it is commensurate to the properties owned by the former Minister. And should discrepancies be established, then, the EFCC must proceed to prosecute the former Minister as required by law.”
The anti-corruption Crusader concluded with commendations for the CCT and the other anti-graft Agencies for achieving Orubebe’s conviction. He said, “this should serve as a signal to the other dishonest people who parade themselves as leaders in our country; we really applaud the accomplishment, and we recognize it as part of the gains of the anti-corruption drive generally.”
Media Coordinator, CACOL
October 5, 2016
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