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Inauguration: Tinubu must declare his assets publicly – SERAP

Article summary

  • SERAP argues Bola Ahmed Tinubu must start his administration on a clean slate by declaring his assets publicly.
  • They add he must prioritise the full & effective respect for human rights, media freedom, the rule of law & the judiciary
  • SERAP urges disclosure of income, assets, and conflicts of interest can serve as powerful tools to draw attention to the abuse of public office.

SERAP has called on Nigeria’s newly inaugurated President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to begin his administration with transparency by publicly declaring his assets.

This was disclosed in a statement on Monday by SERAP, a nonprofit legal & advocacy org. devoted to promoting transparency and accountability.

They also urged him to prioritise the full & effective respect for human rights, media freedom, the rule of law & the judiciary.

Assets declaration

SERAP President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to start with a clean slate by promptly making public details of your assets, income, investments, liabilities, and interests and to encourage your Vice-President-Elect to do the same, adding:

  • “We also urged him to immediately prioritise the full & effective respect for human rights, media freedom, rule of law & the judiciary including by promptly obeying countless court judgments which the govt of President Buhari has repeatedly treated with utter contempt & disdain.
  • “SERAP notes Tinubu’s recent promise to ‘kill corruption’. However, this rhetoric is nothing new: the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari used a similar hollow anticorruption phrase in 2015.
  • “We urge Tinubu to emulate late former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who consistently published his asset declaration forms as president & governor of Katsina State. He also planned legislative reform to make it mandatory for all public officers to declare their assets publicly.

Constitution

They revealed that according to the Code of Conduct for Public Officers, contained in Part I of the Fifth Schedule to the 1999 Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], all public officers are to declare their assets.

  • “The Nigerian Constitution and the anticorruption and human rights treaties show the significant role that asset declaration by public officials plays in promoting transparency, accountability and preventing and combating corruption in the public service.

SERAP added that the incoming government, therefore, has a responsibility to improve citizens’ trust and confidence in the government, adding it will be difficult for the new government to be trusted if its leaders do not come clean about their assets and incomes.

“Disclosure of income, assets, and conflicts of interest can serve as powerful tools to draw attention to the abuse of public office, help prosecute corrupt offenders and create a culture of scrutiny in the public sector that deters corruption” they added.

Buhari’s administration and Court orders

They warned that under the ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerians witnessed for eight years a situation where Buhari neither ‘killed corruption’ nor obeyed court judgment on transparency and accountability.

  • “Widely publishing details of his assets, income, investments, and liabilities and encouraging his Vice-President-Elect and others to do the same would allow Nigerians to know his worth and the worth of other public officials.
  • “If Tinubu’s election is upheld by the judiciary, his government can use transparency in asset declarations as a means of promoting public accountability and ending systemic corruption in the country.
  • “Buhari’s broken promises to make specific details of his assets public and to ‘kill corruption’ have opened up the country’s political and electoral processes to a money free-for-all, discouraged political participation, and contributed to impunity for corruption” they warned.

In case you missed it

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu today has been sworn in as the 16th president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The new president took the oath of office during the swearing-in ceremony held at the Eagle Square in Abuja, surrounded by dignitaries, including the outgoing president Muhammadu Buhari.

He swore to faithfully discharge his duties and not allow his personal interests to conflict with his official duties as president.

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