The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, 36 state governors and their deputies, to publish within seven days, summary of the assets, specifically property and income, contained in their asset declaration forms submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, since assumption of office.
SERAP also sought from them to clarify within seven days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, if they have had any reason to review and update the asset declarations submitted to the CCB, and to make available the summary of any such review; “failing which we will take all appropriate legal action to compel you to comply with our request.”
In a statement issued on Sunday, by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, stated, “The summary of assets to be disclosed include, where applicable, the following: savings and other liquid assets, all immovable property and shares and actions in any private and public companies; property purchased by way of tender from any public-law entities and information about businesses owned.”
In the FoI requests dated January 3, 2020, SERAP maintained, that, “The Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the FoI Act, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which is part of our laws, read together, impose transparency obligations on all public officials to publicly disclose information concerning their asset declarations submitted to the CCB, and to clarify any updated review of such assets.
“The non-public disclosure by public officials of their summary of assets seriously undermines the effectiveness and integrity of the constitutional and statutory obligations to submit asset declarations, especially given that declarations are designed to curb grand corruption. The non-disclosure of assets also undermines the authority of the CCB and weakens the public trust in the asset declaration regimes.”