The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) has directed former ministers, ex-lawmakers and other political office holders to declare their assets within the next three months.
The directive is in conformity with the 1999 Constitution, which empowers the bureau to vet the assets of public officers.
It reads: “Subject to the provision of this Constitution, every public officer shall within three months after the coming into force of this Code of Conduct or immediately after taking office and thereafter (a) at the end of every four years; and (b) at the end of his term of office, submit to the Code of Conduct Bureau a written declaration of all his properties, assets, and liabilities and those of his unmarried children under the age of eighteen years.”
In line with the Constitution, the immediate past President, Muhammadu Buhari, on May 31, returned his asset forms to the CCB, saying that he has taken no loans and he has no liability.
However, in a chat with The Nation, a CCB source said the former public officers have a deadline of three months to declare their assets or they will be prosecuted according to the law.
He said: “These former public officers have a deadline of three months to do so. We are hopeful that they will adhere to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution or else they will face the wrath of the law.
“Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution empowers the CCB to receive asset declaration by any public officer.
“From the list in Part II of the Fifth Schedule to 1999 Constitution, about 16 categories of public officers are bound by the Code of Conduct.
“They include the President, Vice President, the President of the Senate, Deputy President of the Senate, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and all members of the legislative houses, governors and deputy governors.
“Others are the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justices of the Supreme Court, the President and Justices of the Court of Appeal, all other judicial officers and all staff of the court of law; the Attorney-General of the Federation and Attorney-General of each state.
“The list covers the Ministers of the Government of the Federation, commissioners of the governments of the states, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chairmen and board members of all government agencies, Ambassadors, High Commissioners and other officers of Nigerian missions abroad.
“Other officers affected are the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff and all members of the Armed Forces of the Federation.”