S’Court Dismisses FG’s Appeal Against Orubebe

The Supreme Court has dismissed the Federal Government’s appeal to overturn the Court of Appeal’s decision which cleared former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, of false asset declaration.

In 2015, Orubebe was arraigned for not disclosing his properties in the asset declaration forms submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau during his tenure as a minister from 2007 to 2011.

The offence was said to be contrary to Section 15 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act Cap 15 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under Section 23(2) of the same Act.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him.

Orubebe said he did not declare the plot of land as his asset in 2011 because he had sold it to his landlord before he made the last asset declaration while leaving office.

But the Code of Conduct Tribunal ordered that the property which the former minister failed to declare be forfeited to the Federal Government.

Orubebe subsequently challenged the tribunal’s judgment at the Court of Appeal.

The appellate court in its judgment upturned the decision of the tribunal which had earlier convicted the former minister and confiscated the undeclared asset.

The Federal Government, not satisfied with the appellate court’s decision, filed an appeal at the apex court.

Reading the lead judgment, Justice Emmanuel Agim, said the appeal was incompetent.

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