Former Niger Delta Affairs Minister Godsday Orubebe has been quizzed in connection with the ongoing investigation of an alleged N605million fraud.
The cash was withdrawn from the Constituency Project account of the ministry by five officials without authorisation while Orubebe was in charge.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.
Orubebe arrived at about 9.59am and left at about 12.28pm.
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.
“What we did was to ask a team of investigators to interact with the former Minister especially on the accounting procedure and authorisation of funds in the ministry.”
A top official of the ICPC said: “Without prejudice to the ongoing court process, our operatives interacted with Orubebe but we cannot give details.”
Orubebe did not pick calls made to his telephone lines yesterday.
A text message sent to him was also unacknowledged.
The last public outing of Orubebe was when he created a scene at the International Conference Centre in an attempt to abort the collation of the results of the March 28 Presidential Election.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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