An Abuja division of the Appeal Court has nullified the October 2016 judgement of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, which found a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, guilty of false asset declaration.
CCT led by its chairman, Danladi Umar, had ruled that the prosecution had proven its case against Mr. Orubebe, and confiscated the asset — a landed property located at number 2057 Asokoro, Abuja.
According to Mr. Umar, Mr. Orubebe failed to prove to the tribunal that the property was no longer his, since he had allegedly sold the asset.
Mr. Orubebe’s lawyer, Selekowei Larry, told the tribunal that the property was already sold to a company, Divention Properties Ltd.
The tribunal however found Mr. Orubebe’s liable on the grounds that the documents indicating that the property was sold were not legally sufficient to prove a transfer of ownership.
In a ruling Wednesday at the appeal court, a three-member panel of judges, led by Abdu Aboki, said the documents presented at the lower court were sufficient to indicate transfer of ownership.
The court also ruled that Mr. Orubebe was not expected by law to declare an asset he had already sold.
Mr. Orubebe was first arraigned on a four-count charge for the same offence in November 2015.
The charge sheet was later amended to one count.