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The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has filed corruption charges against a former minister of Niger Delta affairs, Godsday Orubebe.

Orubebe alongside Oludare Lawrence Alaba, Ephraim Towelde Zaki and Gitto Construction Limited are to be arraigned before a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) high court, Abuja, on a five-count charge of corruption, perjury, and diversion of about N2bn meant for the dualisation of Section IV of the East-West Road.

Count one of the charge reads:

“That you, Elder Godsday Peter Orubebe,  sometime in September 2015 or thereabout at the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Abuja, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did make false statement to officers of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICIP), Messrs Eric Anona, Isiona Okolo and Bukar Galadima in the course of their official duty, when you informed them in writing respecting the contract for the dualisation of Eket Urban Road that the decision to rehabilitate  instead of dualisation was taken when you had left office as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which information you knew was false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 25 (1)(a) and punishable under Section 25 (1) (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.”

Count two reads:

“That you, Elder Godsday Peter Orubebe, sometime between 2010 and 2014 or thereabout, while being a Hon. Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, deployed to the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Court, used your position as minister to confer an unfair advantage upon Gitto Costruzioni Generali (Nig.) Ltd by circumventing the approval of the Federal Executive Council respecting the contract for the dualization of the Eket-Oron Road when you took a decision to rehabilitate the road contrary to the award letter reference No. WR14522/Vol. 1/55 dated 28/09/2006 as approved by the Federal Executive Council and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under the section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and other related offences Act, 2000.”

According to the court documents obtained by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR, contract for the construction of Section IV of the 50 kilometre East-West Road from Eket to Oron was first approved by the federal government in September 2006.

Approval was given for the award of the contract by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on September 13, 2006, and the contract was awarded on September 28, 2006, for N26 billion, with a 42-month completion date.

FEC, however, approved a variation in the cost of the contract in June 2011 to N37 billion with 26 months extended completion date granted.

A N2.3 billion compensation was also said to have been approved for residents whose houses would be affected by the dualisation project.

ALSO READ: Orubebe denies stealing N605M

Report said in November 2011, the former minister arranged a stakeholders meeting where it was agreed that the road would not be dualised but merely rehabilitated, which was against the FEC approval and the contract agreement - meaning the contractor would only rehabilitate the single lane road for which it had already received over N30 billion to dualise.

Orubebe is already on trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for false declaration of assets.

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