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Experts seek review of asset declaration framework to check graft, others

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A reformed asset declaration regime would reduce corruption. Photo: THEWIRE

Experts in Nigeria’s judiciary system have called for the overhaul of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), noting that a reformed asset declaration regime would reduce corruption, illicit enrichments and conflicts of interest among public office holders.

According to them, this would free up resources for the public good.

Speaking yesterday at a capacity building workshop for civil society organisations (CSOs) and the media on the “law and policy of assets and liabilities’ declaration framework, organised by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) in Abuja, the group’s Lead Director, Eze Onyekpere, noted though that the existing law guiding the CCB might not be the best, but added that it was a step in the right direction if religiously implemented.

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He stressed that if the regulations relating to assets declaration are effectively observed, the most populous black nation country would have sound governance and graft reduced to the barest minimum.

Onyekpere therefore called for the adoption of the Online Assets Declaration System (OADS) recently proposed by the CCB, stating that it would increase transparency and accountability in the entire gamut of governance.

He also urged better funding for the bureau to enable it diligently investigate and verify declared assets.

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In his remarks, a notary public, Kalu Onuoha, said the CCB and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) as currently composed were not robust anti-corruption agencies, pointing out that they had been underperforming.

He linked the poor showing to the bureau’s poor funding and understaffing, especially in leadership positions.

Onuoha contended that the CCB Act’s minimum qualification of the organisation’s membership as “a person of unimpeachable character in the society” was not enough.

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