President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have been dragged before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos for allegedly failing to keep to their promise to Nigerians during their electioneering campaigns to publicly declare their assets.
The suit was initiated by a rights activist, Kabir Akingbolu, who contended that by declaring their assets secretly, Buhari and Osinbajo have violated Section 172 and Section 11 (1) and (2) of the Code of Conduct for public officers under the Fifth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, were joined in the suit as defendants.
The President and his vice had secretly declared their assets to the CCB, a development which drew public condemnation, with many insisting that it was a departure from their anti-corruption posture ahead of the election.
Akingbolu, who prayed the court to declare that it was mandatory for the CCB to publicly publish the assets of Buhari and Osinbajo, also urged the court to declare that the secret declaration of assets by Buhari and Osinbajo was unconstitutional.
He also wants the court to mandate them to publicly declare their assets in line with the Code of Conduct for public officers under the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution.
Akingbolu, in an affidavit in support of the suit, averred that Buhari and Osinbajo made it abundantly clear while canvassing for votes from Nigerians that they would publicly declare their assets in order to prove that they would run a transparent government.
He further averred that under the code of conduct, the President and the Vice President were duty as public officers to declare their assets publicly, and that the duo have breached the said stipulation by not publicly declaring their assets as dictated and mandated by the Constitution.
He added that the sad aspect of the development, was that the CCB, “has been shielding Buhari and Osinbajo by not publicizing their purported declaration of assets in line with the law.”
“I know as a fact as a legal practitioner that Buhari and Osinbajo are duty bound to declare their assets publicly and it will be in the interest of justice, public peace and good governance to grant the reliefs in this suit,” he declared.