The Federal High Court has been approached to compel the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to produce the certified copies of the assets declaration form of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu and his unmarried adult children presented to the Bureau for the period of 2007 to 2012 and 2015 for inspection by the court.
This is contained in an exparte motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/33/2021 filed by Hon. Emmanuel Agonsi before the Abuja division of the court.
In the suit which has the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood and the CCB as respondents is further seeking an order of mandamus directing and compelling the CCB to make available to the applicant or his counsel, E.C. Muokwudo, information and details of the assets declaration forms of the INEC chairman and his unmarried adult children keep by the CCB as requested by the applicant in his letter of December 17, 2020.
The applicant specifically wants the INEC chairman to declare his assets during his tenure as the Executive Secretary of TETFUND between 2007 and 2012 and as INEC chairman between 2015 and 2020.
He also urged the court to grant an order to serve the INEC chairman by substituted means of delivery to any staff or officer of the legal department of the INEC at it’s headquarters office at plot 436, Zambezi Crescent, Maitama, Abuja.
He wants a declaration that the CCB has a statutory and public duty to furnish him (applicant), information and details concerning the INEC chairman as contained in the applicant letter of request dated December 17, 2020.
That the refusal of the Bureau to comply with the said letter constitute a refusal and failure of it’s statutory and or public duty to the applicant and is therefore unlawful, illegal and abuse of powers, abuse of discretion and ultra vires.
On December 17, 2020, the plaintiff had written the CCB seeking information on the asset declaration form of the INEC Chairman.
The letter acknowledged by the Office of the Chairman of the CCB on December 22, 2020, reads, ”I am the promoter of Public Officer Integrity and Accountability Forum with the aim of fighting corruption and allied vices among public officers in Nigeria. Accordingly, pursuant to Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2011 and based on the information and records of Assets Declaration Forms of public officers including Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Chaian of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and his unmarried adult children kept by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB). I hereby specifically apply to be furnished with the following information.”
Some of the assets the plaintiff is praying the court to declare open are, details of asset declaration made by Prof. Yakubu when he held office as TETFUND Executive Secretary between 2007 to 2012 and as INEC Chairman between 2015 to 2020.
He is also asking the court to order the CCB to furnish him with information about all the properties, assets and liabilities of his unmarried adult children submitted to the CCB for the period covered.
The plaintiff prayed the court for a declaration that the 1st respondent (CCB) has a statutory and public duty to to furnish the applicant with information and details concerning the 2nd respondent (Prof. Yakubu) as contained in the applicant’s letter dated 17th December, 2020.
He also prayed the court to to declare that the refusal or failure of CCB to respond to or comply with the applicant’s request as contained in his letter dated 17th December, 2020 constitutes a refusal/failure of the CCB statutory and/or public duty to the applicant and therefore unlawful, illegal, abuse of power, abuse of discretion and ultra vires.
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