Thursday, 21 March 2019

Onnoghen’s asset forms haven’t been verified by CBB since 2016, ex-director says as FG closes cases against suspended CJN

A prosecution witness, Awal Usman Yakassai, on Thursday, admitted before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, that the two assets declaration forms submitted over two years ago by the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, have not been verified by the Code of Conduct Bureau.

Testifying as the second prosecution witness in Onnoghen’s ongoing trial on charges of false and non-declaration of assets, Yakassai a former CCB director, said the suspended CJN submitted two assets declaration forms on December 14, 2016.

‎The two CCB 1 Forms meant to cover for Onnoghen’s declarations for years 2014 and 2015, are the basis for the six counts of false, non-declaration of assets of which the suspended CJN is being prosecuted.

However, under cross-examination by Onnoghen’s lead defence lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), the witness, when shown the two forms, admitted that the columns for verification of the contents of the forms remained blank and unsigned.

The former director said the forms of public officer holders are kept in a safe place “under lock and key.”

He said only the chairman of the bureau can authorise access to asset declaration forms of any public office holder.

There are concerns as to how Dennis Aghanya, the executive secretary of Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative (ARDI), got a hold of the suspended CJN’s forms.

Meanwhile, the federal government has closed its case against Justice Onnoghen.

The government closed after calling three witnesses to the stand.

At the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Thursday, Aliyu Umar, counsel to the government, announced that they closed the case despite the fact that they had initially listed six witnesses.

Umar said the three other witnesses could still be called to the stand if the defence wants to cross-examine them.

“I have called three witnesses. If the defence needs them, I can call the other three,” the lawyer said.

Responding, counsel to Onnoghen, Adeboyega Awomolo, rejected the offer.

“I don’t want them, I don’t want them,” he said.

Awomolo then informed the tribunal that they intend to file a no-case submission but they would need time to write an address.

“We intend to take advantage of section 303 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 on no-case submission,” he said.

“If your lordship permits me to write a written address. I’m praying to be given proceedings of 18th and today.”

Thereafter, CCT chairman, Danladi Umar, ordered Awomolo to serve his address on the prosecution on Wednesday.

Umar then fixed March 29 as day counsels would adopt their addresses.

Onnoghen is standing trial on a six-count charge bordering on false asset declaration.

Source: Punch

Subscribe to Bishop Ikedi Blog
To receive alert from BishopIkediBlog, Adverts Placement, News, Articles & more, Contact via Whatsapp: 07032803990, email

No comments:

Back to Top