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Published On: Fri, Nov 30th, 2012

Rep Orders Probe of Orubebe’s Abuja Mansion Gift from SETRACO

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Controversial Orubebe;s house

The Federal House of Representatives on Thursday mandated its Committee on Niger Delta Ministry Affairs and Committee on Anti-corruption Agencies to investigate the allegations of corruptly receiving a house gift from a construction company, which has been consistently leveled against Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe.
Orubebe had been accused of failing to include the said house, located at Mabushi District in Abuja, in the assets declaration form he filled and submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau, because it was a form of bribe from construction outfit, SETRACO.
The decision to investigate him was reached after debates on a motion brought to the floor of the house by Hon. Kehinde Oluwasegun, representing Ijebu/Odogbolu Federal Constituency in Ogun State, under Order 8 Rule 46 Section 1 of the House Rule.
“Mr. Speaker, it is saddening for me to have to come up with a motion of this nature to address a matter that ought to have been taken up by our Anti-Corruption Agencies,” Oluwasegun began in his motion.
“This Motion is brought against the back drop of mounting disclosures of corrupt practices labeled against a sitting minister by some anti-corruption outfits in the country.
“The Hon. Minister has paid for so many phantom projects. The Hon. Minister is presently resident in a house at Mabushi District Abu]a built and handed over to him by SETRACO, a construction company that doubles as his crony. The Hon. Minister’s failure to declare the said house in his asset declaration with the Code of Conduct Bureau is a case of perjury, if established.”
He said Orubebe’s financial escapades and liaisons are in Dubai and other corruption shelters overseas but he had first peremptorily rubbished the weighty allegations as the handiwork of his detractors and mischief makers.
“Since then, he has unfortunately laboured hard in the media to belie these revelations. But any time he comes up with his purported facts, they have been further proven to be mere tissues of lies by superior disclosure of more facts by the anti-corruption outfits,” Oluwasegun continued.
“For instance, he stated that he was a seating tenant at his Mabushi multi-billion naira home but searches from Abuja Geographic and Information Services proved beyond reasonable doubt that the property is not only his, but it is also in his name. This single irrefutable fact establishes beyond reasonable doubt that the Hon. Minister refused to declare the said house in his asset declaration form, which he made on oath.
“What is baffling, Mr. Speaker, is not the allegation of corruption against the Hon. Minister but the fact that neither EFCC nor ICPC has deemed it fit to wade into it. We have seen how these agencies zealously pursue other allegations involving less than $5,000.00.”
He described the silence of the agencies on the matter as casting very serious doubts on President Jonathan’s pretentious crusade against corruption.
“Mr. Speaker, it’s too late for the House to back down on the fight against corruption. We have already set a precedence that the Executive must follow if it means business with its fight against corruption.
“When it affected our members even on trump-up charges, we shielded none. It would amount to a great travesty if we do not 1ensure that justice is done on this matter. We cannot allow Anti-Corruption outfits to take our place as the legitimate voice of our over oppressed people.
He then ended his speech by imploring the lawmakers to roundly support this motion by mandating the Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes to investigate the allegations and make appropriate recommendations within 21 days.
Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon Emeka Ihedioha, who was presiding, spoke on the need to be cautious since the proceedings were being televised nationally.
“So that it will not appear as if we are prejudiced on this matter, we refer it to the relevant committees, such as the Committee on Niger Delta Ministry Affairs and the Committee on Anti-corruption Agencies,” he said.
It would be recalled that Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau, Mr. Sam Saba had said on 20th November 2012 that the agency would investigate the allegation of untruthful declaration of assets made against Orubebe, vowing that he would be brought before the Tribunal if the allegations against him are found to be true.

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