On Tuesday, a Federal High Court sitting at Apo struck out six (6) count charges the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), preferred against a former Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs who serve under Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Godsday Orubebe, over an alleged N1.97billion contract fraud.
Justice Olukayode Adeniyi discharged Orubebe after the charges were withdrawn by the prosecution.
The court had earlier gave the ICPC leave to produce its witnesses to testify that Orubebe diverted funds meant for the compensation of owners of property on Eket Urban section of the East-West Road in Eket, Akwa Ibom State.
The Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, however in a letter to the Chairman of ICPC, confirmed that the said amount which the former minister allegedly diverted has not been expended, but awaiting further contract decisions and directives from the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
Mr. Malami’s letter reads in part below;
“In view of the above, the basis for the prosecution of the accused persons for misappropriation does not exist and thus, further prosecution cannot be justified.
“I am directed to convey the directive of the AGF, invoking his powers under section 174(1) (c) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), sections 105 and 109 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, that you drop the charge against the suspects.”