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Code Of Conduct Bureau: We Cant Release Buhari, Osinbajo’s Asset Declaration

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The code of conduct bureau has said they would not be releasing information regarding the assets owned by President Mohammadu Buhari and Vice-president Yemi Osibanjo due to limitations of federal laws covering such release.

During his campaign, Mr. Buhari pledged to publicly declare his assets upon wining the 2015 presidential election. The Nigerian Constitution stipulates that senior office holders declare their assets, without requiring them to do so publicly.

There has been controversy over the release of the details of the president and vice president’s assets since their inauguration May 29.

A civil society group, Stop Impunity Nigeria, an affiliate of the Centre for Social Justice, had on June 1, 2015 applied to the CCB to request copies of the completed assets declaration forms by the President and his deputy.

According to reports,the application which was signed by a director of Stop Impunity Nigeria, Eze Onyekpere, stated that it was pursuant to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Responding to the application, CCB/HQ/670/G/1/104 dated June 10, 2015 the CCB declined the request, citing the absence of prescribed law by the National Assembly authorizing the release of such information to the public.

The bureau acknowledged the right by Nigerians under section 1(1) 3 and 4 of the FOIA 2011, to “access or request information, whether written or not in written form, in the custody of any public agency” but it also said sections 12(1) (a) (v), 14(1) (b) and 15(1)9a) of the same Act empowered it to decline any request, which it considered an “invasion of personal privacy”.

“Assets declarations by public officers contain such personal information, which falls within the exemptions to the disclosure of information in the FOIA,”

The bureau further stated that to “make assets declarations of public officers available for inspection by any citizen of Nigeria only on terms and conditions prescribed by the National Assembly”.

“However, the terms and conditions under which that can be done have not yet been prescribed by the National Assembly,” the Bureau said, adding that the group’s request was rejected in view of the absence of the prescribed “terms and conditions”.

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