The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has on Thursday November 26, 2015 adjourned hearing of the case against the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Peter Orubebe on account of disagreement on amendment of count 2, 3 & 4 pertaining to the charge. The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal in his ruling observed that the application must come by motion to enable the Defence to have opportunity of putting up their response as well as give way for proper hearing on the 27th of January, 2016.
Earlier at the proceeding, the Prosecuting Counsels led by Peter Danladi told the court that the case was slated for hearing and sought the permission of the court to make an oral amendment to count 2, 3, & 4 in the charge against the accused person, relying on section 216 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015. Peter Danladi further stated that in pursuant to Section 216 of the ACJ Act 2015, a court may permit an alteration or amendment to a charge or framing of a new charge in a time before judgement is pronounced.
The leading defence Counsel S. Larry (SAN) swiftly interjected and objected the prayer of the prosecution, indicating that the prayers for amendment has to come by way of motion which is the proper thing to be done. He insisted that this is serious business before a court of record and as such proper procedures must be followed in the application by the prosecuting counsel and objected to the plea.
Peter Danladi in continuation of his defence harped on the section of the Constitution which grants him the permission to seek for amendment at any time by means of oral application, noting that it has been the practice of the Tribunal.
“If you can recall, on the 9th of November 2015, the ex-Minister was slammed with a 4 count charge alleging acceptance of a bribe of ₦70m from one Pastor named: Jonathan Alota (Dr) whose company bided for a contract to construct a skill acquisition centre in Benin, Edo State,” he reverred.
ABUJA (Code of Conduct Tribunal Report)
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