By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North
Abuja — Former Minister, of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, has denied stealing the N605 million said to have disappeared during his tenure.
Orubebe told Vanguard on telephone, yesterday, that the money was not taken during his tenure and that it was mischievous for anyone to link him with the said missing fund.
He said that he had already resigned from the ministry before the said money went missing.
Orubebe said: “I have heard them mention my name as if the money was taken under my watch. The truth is that I had left office before the money was allegedly taken. It did not happen during my tenure and that is what Nigerians should find out.”
He explained that it was in a bid to clear his name that he responded to an invitation by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, to state his side of the story.
“Yes, I went to the ICPC the other day to clear my name. I told them what I knew about the money said to have been stolen and made it clear to them that it did not happen under my watch,” the former minister said.
It was gathered that the former minister was invited by the ICPC in connection with the ongoing probe into the N605 million fraud.
The cash was allegedly withdrawn from the Constituency Project Account of the ministry by five officials without authorisation, a development which prompted the ICPC to drag the suspects to court.
The ICPC has already filed charges against the five persons in conjunction with the fraud: 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).