Posted by Clement A. Oloyede | 18 March 2019 | 622 times
A senior investigator with the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), today, narrated to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) how the bureau received and investigated a petition, alleging non and false declaration of assets against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen.
Justice Onnoghen had pleaded not guilty to the 6-counts charge filed against him by the CCB.
He was absent at the tribunal at the last sitting due to instructions by his medical doctor for him to take a 72-hour bed rest. He was reported to have suffered tooth-ache and his blood pressure risen above normal.
At the resumed hearing today, upon his presence at the tribunal, hearing commenced in the case.
Prosecution counsel, Aliyu Umar (SAN) informed the tribunal that the first witness, James Akpala was ready to testify.
Akpala, who has been a staff of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) for six years, is a senior investigation officer.
He said on January 10, he received a directive from his superior, Samuel Madujemu, who directed that he should investigate a petition written by one Chief Dennis Aghanya of the Anti-corruption and research-based data initiative, alleging breach of code of conduct for public officers, including non and false declaration of assets against Justice Onnoghen.
“After the routine investigation process, the team wrote to the Department of Federal Political Office under the CCB, requesting for the defendant’s asset declaration records from 2000-2019.
“Two assets declaration forms that the team received were examined and filed in the case file.
Other members on the team, according to him, included Abu Simon Isaac, Deputy Director of CCB’s Intelligence, Investigation and Monitoring Department and Samuel Madujemu, the Assistant Director of the same department.
The witness said the petitioner was invited to make a statement and his statement was filed in the case file.
He said, “The team proceeded to Standard Chartered Bank, requesting for the defendant’s account statement with the bank, account opening documents and certificate of identification. The bank responded.
“During examination, the team realised that the account opening package was incomplete and the account officer, Ifeoma Okagbue, was notified.
“She now came on March 6 with the complete account opening document and her statement was recorded.
“On January 11, at about 12noon, the team visited the defendant at his office at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Abuja. We met his secretary, Jane Esu Edu, who led us to him.
“He read through the petition and gave an oral explanation to the team concerning the allegations contained in the petition. My superior, Samuel Madujemu asked him if he was willing to record his oral explanation in writing or the team should go and come back some other time. The defendant said he was willing to record his oral statement.
“He brought out a plain paper but the team informed him that CCB has a cautionary form for statements and he was informed that he needs a witness to observe the writing of the statement who could be a lawyer or a reputable person. The defendant called his secretary, Jane Esu Edu, to witness the statement. She sat beside the defendant and the defendant recorded his statement in his own handwriting.”
Meanwhile, the tribunal has stood down the matter for prayers.
•Sourced from a Daily Trust report
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