The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) is yet to conclude the verification of the assets declared by President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) and other top officials of the present administration in 2015, our reporter has gathered.
The CCB has the mandate to accept assets declaration forms from all public officers and verify them in accordance with the CCB/T Act.
A reliable source at the Bureau, headed by Mr. Sam Saba, told our reporter that the Bureau is still verifying the assets declared by the President, Vice President; the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, in their forms submitted to the Bureau last year.
The source said that the Bureau “is not in a hurry to conclude the verification exercise” as it wants to do a thorough job, in accordance with the act establishing it.
The spokesman of the CCB, Mohammed Idris, was said not to be “in town” when Saturday Tribune attempted to seek his official reactions.
However, the source in the Bureau confirmed that the verifications exercise was still going on.
The Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Chapter 56 LFN 1990 gives the Bureau the mandate to establish and maintain a high standard of public morality in the conduct of government business and to ensure that the actions and behaviour of public officers conform to the highest standard of public morality and accountability.
To implement the above mandate, Section 3, part 1 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has provided an enabling legal environment for the Bureau to:
Receive declarations by public officers under paragraph 11 of part 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution.
Examine the declarations in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct or any Law;
Retain custody of such declarations and make them available for inspection by any citizen of Nigeria on such terms and conditions as the National Assembly may prescribe;
Ensure compliance with and, where appropriate, enforce the provisions of the Code of Conduct or any law relating thereto;
Receive complaints about non-compliance with or breach of the provisions of the Code of Conduct or any law in relation thereto, investigate the complaints and, where appropriate, refer such matters to the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
On September 3, 2015, the presidency had, in a statement, announced Buhari’s assets while promising that full details of the declaration would be available to the public after verification by the CCB. The statement reads:
The statement read: “Documents submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) show that the retired General has indeed been living an austere and Spartan lifestyle, contrary to what many might expect of a former Head of State of Nigeria and one who has held a number of top government positions, such as governor, minister of petroleum and the head of the Petroleum Development Trust Fund (PTDF).
“The documents submitted to the CCB, which officials say are still being vetted and will soon be made public, show that prior to being sworn in on May 29, President Buhari had less than N30 million to his name. He also had only one bank account, with the Union Bank. President Buhari had no foreign account, no factory and no enterprises.
“He also had no registered company and no oil wells.
“The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) who had been a successful lawyer before his foray into politics declared a bank balance of about N94 million and 900,000 United States Dollars in his bank accounts.
“President Buhari declared however that he had shares in Berger Paints, Union Bank and Skye Bank.
“This is entirely unlike what one might expect from a former head of state of a country like Nigeria.
“The documents also revealed that President Buhari had a total of five homes, and two mud houses in Daura. He had two homes in Kaduna, one each in Kano, Daura and in Abuja. One of the mud houses in Daura was inherited from his late older sister, another from his late father. He borrowed money from the old Barclays Bank to build two of his homes.
“President Buhari also has two undeveloped plots of land, one in Kano and the other in Port Harcourt. He is still trying to trace the location of the Port Harcourt land.
“In addition to the homes in Daura, he has farms, an orchard and a ranch. The total number of his holdings in the farm include 270 heads of cattle, 25 sheep, five horses, a variety of birds and a number of economic trees.
“The documents also showed that the retired General uses a number of cars, two of which he bought from his savings and the others supplied to him by the federal government in his capacity as former Head of State. The rest were donated to him by well-wishers after his jeep was damaged in a Boko Haram bomb attack on his convoy in July 2014.
“As revealed by the same forms, highlights of the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo’s asset declaration include his 4-bedroom residence at Victoria Garden City, Lagos and a 3-bedroom flat at 2 Mosley Road, Ikoyi. The Vice President also has a 2-bedroom flat at the popular Redemption Camp along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and a 2-bedroom mortgaged property in Bedford, England. Aside from these, the Vice President has no other landed properties on the form.
“Apart from his law firm, known as SimmonsCooper, the Vice-President also declared shareholding in six private companies based in Lagos, including Octogenerium Ltd., Windsor Grant Ltd., Tarapolsa, Vistorion Ltd., Aviva Ltd. and MTN Nigeria.
“According to details shown on the form, the Vice-President has about ninety four million naira, nine hundred thousand US dollars and nineteen thousand pounds in Nigerian Banks with the foreign currencies kept in local domiciliary accounts. His personal vehicles are one Infinity 4-Wheel Drive SUV, one Mercedes Benz and a Prado Jeep.
“As soon as the CCB is through with the process, the documents will be released to the Nigerian public and people can see for themselves.”