The Code of Conduct Tribunal has revealed the
loophole in the procedure put in place by its sister
agency, the Code of Conduct Bureau, for receiving
completed asset declaration forms from public
The CCB, by law, issues asset declaration forms to
public officers, receives and verifies the completed
forms and also prosecutes before the CCT those
who fail to submit the completed forms or whose
forms contain infractions.

But the CCT said in a judgment delivered on April
28, 2016, that the CCB’s procedure for receiving the
forms from public officers needed to be

Based on the perceived loophole in the CCB’s
procedure for receiving the completed forms, the
CCT in the said judgment discharged and acquitted
the defendant in the case, Mr. M.A Miashanu.
Maishanu was an officer in the Office of the
Secretary of the Government of Kano State, who was charged with failure to submit his pre-tenure writtendeclaration of his assets in 2007.

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The offence was said to be contrary to paragraph
11(1) of Part I of the Fifth Schedule of the
Constitution and punishable under paragraph 18(2)
of the said Part I of Fifth Schedule.

However in its judgment on the charges preferred
against Maishanu, the CCT said “it appears there is
no clearly discernible fool proof methodology” to
determine whether or not the accused actually failed to return the form issued to him by the CCB after completing it.

The CCT panel comprising its chairman, Danladi
Umar, and the other member, Atedze Awadza, held
in the judgment that evidence given by the two
prosecution witnesses (PWI and II) and the
defendant himself (DWI) cast doubt on the
prosecution’s charge against Maishanu.

Umar, who read the CCT’s judgment said, “The
tribunal examined the exhibits tendered and
weighted them against the testimony of the
witnesses and has come to the firm conclusion that
the process put in place by CCB for receiving
completed asset declaration forms from public
officers, up to the time acknowledgment slips are
issued, need to be strengthened.

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“DWI (the defendant himself) testified that he duly
filled the form and submitted it to a lady in the CCB,
Kano office, and PW II (a clerical officer at the Kano
office of the CCB, Mr. Ali Hausawa) confirmed
during cross-examination that he is not the only
officer in the CCB Kano office who receives
completed asset declaration forms CCB1 from
public officers. That is to say, it is possible that DW
I actually submitted his form to a lady working in
the CCB Kano office.

“PWI (Senior Administrative Officer at the Kano
office of CCB, Sani Ibrahim Bayero) also admitted
during cross-examination that since it takes about
two weeks between the receipt of Completed
Assets Declaration Forms for Public Officers and the
time of acknowledgment slips are issued, there is
possibility of errors on the part of the CCB officials.

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“From the testimony of the prosecution witnesses, it appears there is no clearly discernible ‘foolproof’
methodology to show that the accused person’s
Assets Declaration Forms were not returned except
that his name was not entered into Exhibit 2 (Assets
Declaration Register where the name of the accused
is not found).

“When this testimony is placed side by side with
that of DWI that he submitted his completed forms
to a lady in the CCB Kano office, it casts a doubt on
the charge especially with the admission by PWI
that there could be error in the process and PW2
saying he is not the only one who receives
completed forms from public officers”.

Maishanu defended himself in the trial as he did not
engage the services of a lawyer to defend him during the trial.