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CJN Onnoghen Owns Only 5 Houses, Not 55 – Ex-CCB Director Testifies

A retired Director at the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, Mr Awal Yakassai, on Thursday, testified as the second prosecution witness, PW-2, in the ongoing trial of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, who is facing trial over his alleged failure to declare his assets.

Yakassai told the Mr Danladi Umar led three-man panel of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, that contrary to what was alleged in the media, the suspended CJN owned only five houses.

He said it was not true that CCB investigators linked the ownership of 55 houses to Onnoghen.

The witness made the disclosure after he was shown copies of Justice Onnoghen’s asset declaration forms, which the Federal Government tendered in evidence before the CCT.

The embattled CJN was said to have submitted the forms marked as Exhibit 2 and 3, to the CCB in 2014 and 2015.

Answering questions under cross-examination, the PW-2 told the tribunal that he served at the CCB for 29 years before he retired in April 2018.

He even confirmed that the CCB was yet to verify Justice Onnoghen’s assets with a view to finding out if he made false declarations. So why the rush to bring down Onnoghen?

Holding the two documents in his hand while responding to a question from Onnoghen’s lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, the witness said: “My lord, according to exhibit 2 and 3, the defendant has only five buildings and not 55”.

Awomolo noted that one of the five buildings was even given to Onnoghen by the federal government.

Continuing his testimony, the witness, told the tribunal that verification columns on Onnoghen’s two asset declaration forms were still empty.

He said: “As indicated here, the column for verified assets have not been signed as at today” he added, saying it was standard practice at the CCB that returned asset declaration forms must pass through three stages of verification.

“My lord we have three stages of verification, the first is at the time of submission of forms, the second is what we called conference verification whereby we invite the person. And the third is physical verification of the assets.

“Until these three stages are completed, we cannot say that the assets have been verified”.


Recall that the Federal Government had claimed that it was the CCB that okayed Onnoghen’s trial based on certain infractions that were discovered in his asset declaration forms.

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