ASSET DECLARATION FRAUD: SUSWAM, IMOKE FOUR OTHER EX-GOVS TO FACE TRIAL

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Danladi Umar, the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has reportedly signed a warrant for the arraignment of six former governors for falsifying their assets declaration forms.

Gabriel Suswam, the former governor of Benue state and and his Cross River state counterpart, Liyel Imoke are among the six governors, while the identities of the four others is yet to be ascertained, The Nation reports.

A retired permanent secretary is also to face trial for abuse of office.

According to a source who spoke in confidence, their trial will start any moment from now as they will be formally notified of their pending trial next week.

The source added that some of the former goevernors have got wind of the trial and have begun scouting for the charges.

“The next batch for trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal includes six ex-governors and a retired permanent secretary. The former governors are from the North-Central, North-West, South-South and North-East.

“Most of these governors preferred to hide their assets but, unknown to them, their aides or aggrieved members of their cabinets or parties and short-changed business partners used to expose them,” a source in the Code of Conduct Bureau said.

The source added that one of the governors who is from the North-East got information of his likely arraignment before the CCT and chose to go on exile.

“When all is set for his trial and he fails to show up, a bench warrant will be issued for his arrest and the International Police (INTERPOL) will be mandated to fish him out,” the source said.

Findings showed that more than 15 former governors under-declared their assets in gross violation of their oaths of office.

On Monday October 2, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed a nine-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N3.1billion at a Federal High Court, Abuja, against Suswam.

He was arrested on Monday, October 12, following allegations of corrupt practices said to have occurred during his tenure as governor but he was released in the evening.

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