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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

ORUBEBE QUIZZED BY ICPC IN ALLEGED N605M FRAUD



A former Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Elder Godsday Orubebe, has been quizzed in connection with the ongoing investigation of an alleged N605 million fraud in the Ministry. The cash was withdrawn from the Constituency Project account of the ministry by five officials without authorisation while Orubebe was in charge.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has filed charges against the five. They are: Yusuf Agabi (Director of Finance and Account), Akpore Okeroghene (Deputy Director of Finance), Abibu Ayinla (Director of Finance), Idowu Adewale (Deputy Director, Accounts) and Ngozi James (Deputy Director, Accounts).
According to the Chief Legal Officer of the ICPC, Paul Ahmed, the suspects “fraudulently withdrew N605 million from the Constituency Project account of the ministry without authorisation” between July 2013 and October 2014. They were alleged to have made fictitious claims through payment vouchers to cover up the alleged fraud.

Although Justice Husseini Baba of the FCT High Court fixed September 16 for the arraignment of the suspects, the ICPC intensified its investigation by inviting Orubebe. According to the fact-sheet obtained from the commission, Orubebe spent about two and a half hours on Monday with a team of investigators. It was not immediately clear if Orubebe was in any way connected with the alleged fraud or he is being prepared as a witness.

A source in ICPC said: “In spite of the fact that we have filed charges against five directors in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the investigation into the fraud is open-ended.

“Certainly, we still have some gaps to fill on the case because we are suspecting that there might be more accomplices in the system.

“Orubebe was in charge of the ministry when the fraud was perpetrated; we need to find out from him how things went wrong. Perhaps, he may give more insights.

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