Lawyer sues NAICOM officials over alleged non-declaration of assets
A Lagos lawyer, Mr Tope Alabi has sued the National Insurance Commission Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Kari and his deputies for allegedly not declaring their assets.The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), Kari, Deputy Commissioner for Insurance (Technical) Sunday Thomas, Deputy Commissioner for Insurance (Financial and Administration) George Onekhena, and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice are the first to fifth defendants.
The plaintiff, in the suit numbered FHC/L/SC/1043/19, is praying for a declaration that the failure of Kari, Thomas and Onokhena to declare their assets amounts to a breach of Section 172 of the 1999 Constitution and provisions of its Fifth Schedule. He is praying for an order directing the CCB to refer them to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for prosecution having failed to declare their assets as and when due.
Alabi further prayed for ìan order directing the fifth defendant (AGF) to prefer a charge against the second, third and fourth defendants before the CCT for prosecution having failed to declare their assets as and when due.In an affidavit in support, which he personally deposed to, Alabi recalled that the CCB had invited the second to fourth defendants to appear before it on April 11 to respond to allegations of non-declaration of assets as required of public office holders.He said alleged non-declaration of assets by the defendants is in the public domain and media.
According to the lawyer, he wrote to the CCB, President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Insurance Commission Board of Directors Chairman and the Minister of Finance on May 10 urging them to suspend the second to fourth defendants for failing to declare their assets and to recommend them for prosecution.
The plaintiff said he also wrote to the CCB on June 6 urging it to refer Kari, Thomas and Onokhena to the CCT for prosecution, but ìthe first defendant never responded to the letter till date. Alabi said: ìIt is in the interest of justice that the defaulters, notwithstanding the caliber of personalities they are, be brought to book before the CCT.
It is in the interest of justice to grant this motion to compel the first defendant to refer the second to fourth defendants to the CCT and for the fifth defendant to prefer charges for their prosecution. Alabi argued that the AGF is constitutionally mandated to prosecute willful violators of the law.
The lawyer said he believes in the Buhari administrationís commitment to transparency in government, anti-corruption war and determination to bring violators of the law to book.No date has been fixed for hearing.
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