Falana SAN, ask Buhari and Osinbajo to declare their current assets

Nigerian Veteran human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, has reportedly asked President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to publicly declare their current assets.

This was released through a memo signed by Falana and circulated by the ’Socio Economic Rights and Accountability Project’.

It will be recalled that SERAP had demanded that Buhari, Osinbajo, and 36 state governors and their deputies should publicly declare any updates on their asset declarations submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau.

Falana, in the statement released to newsmen on Tuesday, faulted the President’s claim for not declaring his assets, saying it contradicted the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended the Freedom of Information Act and the African Charter on Human and People Rights.

He said, The Presidency has claimed that there is no law in Nigeria mandating President Buhari to declare his assets publicly. He, however, said that with due respect, this cannot be the correct position of our rule of law.

He further added saying; as far as the law is concerned, the word declaration means a formal statement, proclamation, or announcement, especially embodied in an instrument.

FoI Act and the African Charter is that all the public officials should voluntarily announce their assets publicly even without prompting from any civil society group.

With alternative, the Code of Conduct Bureau is bound by law to make them available to members of the public, pursuant to section 1 of the FoI Act.

However, the law contemplated by the Constitution to make asset declarations  to public officials, because public is the FoI Act. And with the FoI Act, there is no longer secrecy in any government, including in the asset declarations made by all public officials. even our country citizens can no longer insist on their secrecy because they are now required by official policies to register their biometric data for the purpose of acquiring international passports, telephone lines or opening of bank accounts.

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