Posted by News Express | 6 January 2013 | 6,343 times
Former lawmaker-turned-activist, Otunba Dino Melaye, has taken his anti-graft campaign abroad with a new programme under which his group, the Anti-Corruption Network, splashes the photos and stories of allegedly corrupt Nigerian public officials in the international media.
Minister of the Niger Delta, Elder Godsday Orubebe, has become the first to be thus disgraced. For days, News Express has sighted Orubebe’s photograph and that of some of his allegedly illegally acquired houses boldly displayed on the website of the British newspaper Daily Telegraph. The photos and the bold caption “Anti-Corruption Network Exposes Five Choice Properties Owned By Minister Godsday Orubebe” are prominently displayed on the home page of Daily Telegraph.
On clicking the headline or photograph, a reader is taken to a SaharaReporters story dated 21 December 2012 that gives details of the alleged scam by Orubebe. The story reads thus:
“An anti-corruption group led by former House of Representatives member, Dino Melaye, has revealed five properties purchased by the Minister of the Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe.
“The choice properties were acquired in the last three years that Mr. Orubebe has been a minister, first under the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and later as one of the most powerful figures in the cabinet of President Goodluck Jonathan.
“Mr. Melaye’s group revealed that a construction company, SETRACO, built and delivered a brand new mansion to Mr. Orubebe less than six months after the company received a contract to build part of the East-West highway in the Niger Delta region.
“Mr. Melaye’s group obtained documents indicating that Mr. Orubebe was the owner of the properties they identified. One of the documents is the certificate of occupancy for Plot 2722, Kyami District in Abuja. The plot contains 1883.63 square meters. Another certificate of occupancy obtained by the group shows that Mr. Orubebe owns Plot 2460 in the notoriously expensive Maitama area of Abuja. In addition, the minister, who is reputed as one of the most corrupt associates of President Jonathan, also owns Plot 1736 in the Guzape area of Abuja. The certificate of occupancy for the plot was issued in 2008. The Minister for the Niger Delta also acquired Plot 2057 in the Asokoro area.
“A source at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission told SaharaReporters that he was not aware that the anti-corruption agency had opened any investigation into Mr. Orubebe’s land deals or other financial activities. ‘As far as I know, the EFCC is not investigating Elder Orubebe,’ said the source, adding that the agency was unlikely to act ‘unless the Presidency specifically orders us to go after him.’
“Mr. Orubebe’s land documents are attached.”
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