My asset declaration forms were tampered with – CJN Onnoghen

Walter Onnoghen, suspended chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), says his two asset declarations forms submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) were tampered with.

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Speaking through his counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, at his resumed trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja on Monday, the suspended CJN said the forms he submitted in 2014 and 2016 were mutilated and in loose form.

Onnoghen is currently being tried by the CCT on a six-count charge of non-declaration of some of his assets, although he said it was an oversight.

James Akpala, a senior investigation officer with the CCB, had requested to tender the asset forms investigated by the agency.

When Awomolo asked Onnoghen to confirm the document before it is admitted, the former CJN said it had been doctored.

Akpala, however, narrated how the bureau responded to a petition from the Centre for Anti-Corruption Initiative, signed by one Denis Aghanya, on January 10.

He said his team got a statement from Onnoghen and applied for his account details with his bank, while the team concluded the investigation within 24 hours.

While being cross-examined, Akpala declined comment on if he was aware that the charges, evidence and witnesses against Onnoghen were prepared and signed on January 10, the same day the petition was signed, which was even before the conclusion of the investigation on January 11.

He also said that he was not aware if the bureau had a central registry and register where all returned forms were stored.

Also, Akpala refused to comment when he was shown that the financial statement he said he got from Onnoghen’s bank was addressed to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), having denied earlier that the anti-graft agency was involved in the investigation.

The CCT later adjourned till Thursday to allow Onnoghen appear before the National Judicial Council (NJC).

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