Alhaji Lawal Olanrewaju Busari, driver of suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, on Monday gave evidence as the first defence witness in the latter’s ongoing trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
The witness, who was led in evidence by Onnoghen’s lead counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), told the tribunal that he is a chief driver/mechanic at the Supreme Court of Nigeria and he has been the driver of the defendant since 1999.
He recalled how he drove Justice Onnoghen to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) in 2010 to obtain his assets declaration forms.
“On July 28, 2010, my lord called me that we should go to the office of CCB at Asokoro. When we got there, he collected the asset declaration form. After collecting he asked me if I wasn’t going to collect mine. I collected and filled mine too.
“On November 3, 2010, my lordship gave me N200 to go and pay for asset declaration at the FCT High Court revenue office. I paid to the cashier and I returned the original receipt to my Lord,” he said.
Continuing with his evidence, the witness said after the payment at the FCT High Court, he and Justice Onnoghen submitted the asset declaration forms at the office of the CCB in Abuja but were not given acknowledgement receipt by the CCB on the day they submitted the forms.
“The woman that received the forms from us told us to come back and collect the acknowledgement forms. I went back alone. A man went inside and check until he found mine and handed it to me,” the witness added.
He also confirmed that he and Justice Onnoghen returned their completed assets declaration forms to the CCB office in Asokoro and that the two forms were received from him and Justice Onnoghen at the CCB office in Asokoro.
He also confirmed that he went back to pick his own acknowledgment of the receipt of the form.
The witness said he didn’t go to the CCB with the defendant in 2005 to collect assets declaration form upon his (Onnoghen’s) elevation to the Supreme Court.