President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have been dragged to court over their failure to; “make public details of their assets, specifically, property and income; contained in their asset declaration forms submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) since assuming office.”
Buhari, Osinbajo, 36 state governors and their deputies were dragged to court by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) over the supposed offence.
This was contained in the suit filed on Friday, January 24; with SERAP asking for; “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus to direct and/or compel President Buhari, Vice-President Osinbajo, 36 state governors and their deputies to make public their summary of assets; disclose whether they have had any reason to review and update their asset declarations submitted to the CCB; and if the declarations have been made as constitutionally and statutorily required.”
It also sought for “an order to compel President Buhari, Vice-President Osinbajo, 36 state governors and their deputies to disclose; whether they have received any confirmation of the verification of their asset declarations by the CCB; and to disclose whether they have taken any steps to encourage members of their cabinet to also submit their asset declarations to the CCB, and to make such declarations public.”
This lawsuit is a sequel to SERAP’s Freedom of Information (FoI) requests dated 3 January 2020; expressing concern that: “The non-public disclosure by public officials of their summary of assets 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; and weakens the public trust in the asset declaration regimes.”
However, in a reaction by the Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity; he said, “SERAP asking the president to declare publicly, on the basis of what law? The president will do what the law requires of him and what the law requires is that he should declare his asset which he has done. Declaring publicly is not in our laws; it can only be a voluntary thing.”
SERAP suit was filed by its counsel, Kolawole Oluwadare.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.