Declare Your Assets Publicly SERAP, others tell Buhari

Although the duo of President Muhammadu Buhari and his deputy, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, had promptly declared their assets, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) s well s some other pressure groups have urged the two leaders to “swiftly move to declare their assets publicly,  in order to be consistent with their apparent anti-corruption credentials and their expressed commitments to do so and in the best interest of transparency and accountability.”

SERAP’s request followed the declaration of assets last Friday by the duo to the Code of Conduct Bureau as required by the constitution.

In a statement on Sunday by SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organisation 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 fulfill this promise to the Nigerian people,” the organisation said.

The organisation “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 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 constitution 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.”

The constitution however does not expressly demand that the declaration of assets and liabilities be made public, although late President Umaru Yar'Adua made public his own assets declaration.

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