The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) yesterday in Abuja granted the federal government two months to amend the charge of false declaration of assets brought against the former minister of Niger Delta, Mr. Godsday Peter Orubebe.
Shortly after the tribunal granted the request of the federal government to amend the charge for two months, the former minister told the prosecution team to leave him alone, if it has no evidence to prosecute the matter.
Chairman of the tribunal, Mr. Danladi Yakubu Umar, granted the adjournment even when the accused person insisted that he was ready for the trial to go ahead.
The lead lawyer to the federal government, Mr. Peter Danladi, had sought to alter the charge filed against Orubebe who was put on trial for allegedly receiving N70million bribe from a contractor and also for fraudulent declaration of his assets.
The oral application to alter the charge was however opposed by the lawyer to Orubebe, Mr. Selekeowei Larry, SAN who told the tribunal chairman that it was improper for such an application to be treated orally.
The SAN disclosed that it was wrong in law for the tribunal and the accused to be caught unaware by the federal government, adding that the alteration to the charge has to be made in writing for all parties to see.
At this stage, Danladi applied for two months adjournment and was expressly granted by the tribunal.
The tribunal chairman consequently adjourned the trial till January 27, next year.
Orubebe’s lawyer later told journalists during an interview at the tribunal that the charge against his client could not stand. He added that the charge was frivolous, baseless and unjustifiable, saying that the charge would collapse at the trial.
It would be recalled the same tribunal had last month refused to grant the senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki one month adjournment to enable him source for lawyers when his lawyers withdrew their services in protest against alleged shoddy conduct of proceedings.
The federal government had last month arraigned the former minister over alleged N70 million bribes and non declaration of assets.