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Asset declaration: Defaulters may lose office

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Public officials who fail to declare their assets as stipulated by the constitution are liable to being removed from office.

By law, the President, vice president and the members of the Federal Executive Council are required to declare their assets, including money, vehicles, landed property, bonds, stocks and other valuables at the point of taking office and after leaving power.

Similarly, presidential aides, state governors and their cabinet members, National Assembly and state Assembly members and local government chairmen have to declare their assets with the Code of Conduct Bureau when leaving office in line with the 1999 Constitution.

Incoming president, vice president, governors and their cabinet members as well as the state Assembly members have three months to submit their assets forms which are subject to verification by the CCB.

Information obtained from the CCB website suggests that an errant official may be removed from office and also forfeit undeclared properties.

It stated, “The responsibility to collect, fill and return asset declaration form rests solely with the declarant; therefore, submission  of completed forms by the declarant through his/her respective head of department  does not in any way exonerate declarant from responsibility or liability.

“The declarant is further required to provide detailed information including but not limited to the number, types, address, value of properties so declared and the date of acquisition as well as income derivable from the properties where appropriate.”

The CCB explained that after completing the form,  the declarant must personally go and swear to the declaration before a high court judge nearest to his work station before submitting it to the bureau.

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 “Failure to declare your assets as required under the provisions of paragraph 11 of the 5th Schedule of the Federal Constitution shall attract on conviction any or all of the following: (a) Removal from office, (b) Disqualification from holding any public office, (c) forfeiture to the state any property acquired in abuse of office or dishonesty.’’

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