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President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have been urged to declare their assets publicly in line with their promises for transparency and accountability.
In a statement issued by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and signed by its executive director, Tokunbo Mumuni, it stated that this will indicate their desire and commitment to end corruption in the country.
Already the President and Vice President have declared their assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau as required by the Constitution but not doing so publicly in line with their promises.
Mumuni said, “We welcome the official declaration of assets by the President and Vice President. This clearly complies with the requirements of the Nigerian Constitution as contained in Chapter VI Section 140. However, the declaration before the Code of Conduct alone falls far short of the commitment to publicly declare their assets.”
“SERAP recalls that the President had said before the election that he would publicly declare his assets and liabilities, and encourage all his appointees to publicly declare their assets and liabilities as a pre-condition for appointment. We now expect the President to fulfil this promise to the Nigerian people,” the organisation said.
It added, “SERAP trusts that the President and Vice President will move swiftly to publicly declare their assets and to publish widely the information on a dedicated website.”
“Public disclosure of assets will give the general public a true picture of the assets of the President and Vice President and will send a powerful message that it is not going to be business as usual with this government. This will also follow the best practice by former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, boost this government’s fight against corruption and impunity of perpetrators, and fully comply with the provisions of chapter two of the dealing with Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy, which among others require the government to take steps to eradicate corrupt practices and the abuse of power.”
It also called on the President to urgently take measures to seek amendment of the law relating to declaration of assets to include the requirement of public disclosure so as to bring it in line with international standards and best practices such as the UN Convention against Corruption.