R2K Nigeria wants asset declaration institutionalised
OWING to Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s recent statement on assets declaration, a group championing public access to information, Right To Know (R2K) Nigeria yesterday urged the President-elect to would ensure that all governors, ministers, permanent secretaries, head of foreign staff and political appointees declare their assets on assumption and at the end of their term in order to ensure accountability in the public service.
R2K Coordinator, Ene Nwankpa also urged General Buhari to prevail upon the Code of Conduct Bureau to fulfill their constitutional mandate by making public access to all declarations of assets by public officials, so as to ensure that citizens can exercise their constitutional right to verify such declarations.
Nwakpa said that “the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act (Cap C15 LFN 2004) makes it mandatory for public officials, both elected and appointed, to declare their assets and those of their spouses and dependent minors, and to deposit same with the Code of Conduct Bureau.
Specifically, Paragraph 3, Part 1 of the 3rd Schedule to the 1999 Constitution and Paragraph 11, Part 1 of the 5th Schedule to the same Constitution requires the Code of Conduct Bureau to collect, verify and make available to the public the duly filled assets declaration forms of these public office holders.”
The R2K Coordinator stated, “So far, under the outgoing administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, only three public servants have publicly declared the contents of their asset declaration forms.
Dr. Chidi Anselm Odinkalu, Chairman National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), declared and made public his assets on the R2K website (www.r2knigeria.org), Dr. Kayode John Fayemi, former Governor of Ekiti state and his deputy, late Mrs. Olayinka O. Adunni both declared and made public their assets on the Ekiti state official website (www.ekitistate.gov.ng).
R2K further encourages incoming public officials to proactively make public their asset declaration forms, as a declaration of a promise of faithful stewardship and a legitimate responsibility of an accountable government.