Onnoghen’s Asset Forms Yet to be Verified Since 2016 – Witness

The Code of Conduct Tribunal has been told that the asset declaration forms submitted by the suspended Chief Justice of the Federation, CJN, Walter Onnoghen in 2016 are yet to be verified by the Code of Conduct Bureau.

A former director of the Bureau, Awal Usman, made this known on Thursday while testifying at the ongoing trial of suspended CJN.

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

Answering question from Onnghen’s counsel Adeboyega Awomolo, during cross-examination, the former director said the forms of public officers are kept in a safe place “under lock and key.”

He told the court that only the chairman of the bureau can authorise access to the asset declaration forms of public office holders.

Asked again if it was only the chairman that could authorise access to an asset form, the witness said “no.”

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When asked if he knew that it was a criminal offence to have unauthorised access to declaration forms, the ex director said, “I don’t know”.

He also said he was the one who received Onnoghen’s forms in 2016.

Recall that the asset declaration forms of the suspended CJN had been made public by the executive secretary of Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative, ARDI, Dennis Aghanya.

Given that such forms are not easily accessible to unauthorised persons, there have been concerns as to how Aghanya got the forms.