Jonathan Given 30-Day Deadline For Assets Declaration

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President Goodluck Jonathan and his vice, Namadi Sambo, were directed
by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to declare their assets.

Moreover, 29 governors, 42 ministers, 109 senators and 360 House or
Representatives members were ordered to do the same, The Punch has
obtained.

The officials were said to have been given a 30-day deadline to return the
completed Assets Declaration Forms.

Kolade Omoyola, CCB acting secretary, last Tuesday noted that
“political office holders to declare their assets on assumption and
vacation of office in accordance with Paragraph II of the 5th Schedule of
the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended”.

The Bureau representative also issued a warning that those who fail to
declare their assets, as required by the law, “shall attract on conviction
any or all of the following: (a) Removal from office (b) Disqualification
from holding any public office, (c) Forfeiture to the state any property
acquired in abuse of office or dishonesty”.

It was gathered that only seven senators and 40 reps had submitted their
forms so far.

Tony Okocha, Rivers state official, said that Governor Rotimi Amaechi
would soon submit the completed form: “The Governor Rotimi Amaechi
that I know will submit his form to the Bureau very soon.

He has no skeleton in his cupboard and has nothing to hide anywhere in
Nigeria and anywhere in the world.”

Jacob Edi, the special adviser to Kogi state Governor Idris Wada, said
that the governor, and all the other political appointees in the state
subject to the law had submitted the forms.
Edo state governor Godswill Akpabio had submitted the form before he
was sworn in, his aide provided.

A representative of Oyo state governor said that Abiola Ajimobi
“certainly will” declare his assets.

It should be recalled that late Musa Yar’Adua is the only Nigerian
president who has declared his assets.

Muhammadu Buhari, the president-elect, also vowed to to openly declare
assets and liabilities after taking over office .
Meanwhile President Jonathan last year refused to make such a move.

GEJ explained he had already done this while being deputy to Yar’Adua.

He claimed in the course of the third presidential media chat:

“The issue of public assets declaration is a matter of personal principle.

That is the way I see it, and I don’t give a damn about it, even if you
criticise me from heaven.

When I was the vice-president, that matter came up, and I told the former
President (late Musa Yar’Adua) that let’s not start something that would
make us play into the hands of people and create an anomalous situation
in the country.

“The law is clear. A public officer should declare his assets, and if there
are issues, then the relevant agencies would have a basis to assess
whether you have amassed wealth or not. When it is said that people
should declare their assets in public, it is not only the president or the
vice-president; it includes everybody, including ministers.

“When I was a governor in Bayelsa State for about a year before
becoming vice-president, I was investigated thoroughly. I have nothing
to hide.

But because I was under somebody and it was becoming an issue,
because of the media, and because my boss had declared, it was said that
the vice-president must. I declared, not because I
wanted to.

“Initially, I said they can talk about it from morning to night, I will not.
It is not proper.

If one amends the law to say that only the president and the vice-
president should declare assets publicly, fine.
But, presently, everybody who is holding political office is expected to
and I say it is not right.”

In another development General Theophilus Danjuma (retd.), the former
defence minister, yesterday advised Muhammadu Buhari to probe
President Jonathan’s administration over the $60 billion debt the new
administration will inherit.

According to Daily Trust, Danjuma lamented: “It is disheartening to
know that the incoming government of Buhari will have to contend with
a debt of over $60billion and there is nothing to show for this huge debt.

“Well, we would know what happened to these monies, because I believe
that the Buhari administration has to, and should, in national interest,
investigate the administration so that we
would know what happened.”

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