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Nigerian leaders urged to declare assets

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to make their assets public by publishing their asset declaration forms.

In a statement signed by the Deputy Director of SERAP, Kolawole Oluwadare on Sunday, 4 October 2020, in Lagos, the group urged the two leaders to “follow a good example” of Yombe Dabai Samaila, Deputy Governor of Kebbi state in northern Nigeria, by immediately publishing their asset declaration forms.

It noted that Samaila, while responding to SERAP’s suit, had forwarded his asset declaration form to the organization last week.

SERAP had, in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/65/2020 filed in January 2020, asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to order President Buhari, Vice-President Osinbajo, 36 state governors and their deputies 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.”

“We welcome Samaila’s demonstrated commitment to transparency and accountability, especially at a time when many government officials and institutions continue to exhibit a blatant disregard for Freedom of Information requests by refusing to even acknowledge several of such requests.

“President Buhari and Vice-President Osinbajo should show leadership by immediately widely publishing their asset declaration forms, just as Samaila has rightly done. We also call on Abubakar Bagudu, Governor of Kebbi state, and other governors and their deputies to emulate and learn from Samaila’s good example by immediately publishing their assets,” the statement said.

SERAP urged President Buhari and Vice-President Osinbajo to stand up for transparency in asset declarations by public officers as a sign of their oft-repeated principled stand on transparency and accountability in the management of Nigeria’s resources.

“This government’s stated commitment to fighting corruption will ring hollow as long as Buhari and Osinbajo continue to ignore repeated requests to publish their asset declaration forms,” it added.

-APA

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