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Witness: Onnoghen’s asset forms haven’t been verified since 2016

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Awal Usman, a former director of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), says the asset declaration forms have not been verified by the bureau since 2016.

Usman said this on Thursday while testifying in the ongoing trial of Walter Onnoghen, suspended chief justice of Nigeria (CJN).

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

Speaking while he was being cross-examined by Adeboyega Awomolo, counsel to Onnoghen, 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 he 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.

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

He said “I don’t know” when he was asked if he knew if he knew it was a criminal offence to have unauthorised access to declaration forms.

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

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