AGF Stops CCB Chairman From Making Public, Assets Declaration Form

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AGF Stops CCB Chairman From Making Public, Assets Declaration Form

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AGF Stops CCB Chairman From Making Public, Assets Declaration Form

AGF Stops CCB Chairman From Making Public, Assets Declaration Form

According to a leadership report, the attorney general of the federation, Abubakar Malami, has said it is illegal to make assets declaration forms of political office holders public.

The chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), Mr. Sam Saba, who disclosed this, explained that the details of the asset declaration forms of public office holders as requested by the M.D. Yusufu Research and Documentation Centre, Muhammad Danjuma Katsina, cannot be made public because the law forbids doing so.

According to Katsina, “Mr. Sam expressed his regrets that my request cannot be granted. He told me that they wrote to the Attorney General of the Federation seeking for a way out, as there are a lot of such request from Journalists and Lawyers demanding for the documents.

“Mr. Sam told me that the reply they received from the Attorney General of the Federation was that the documents must not be released as that is contrary to some sections of the Federal Constitution. Any act or law that contradicts of the constitution is dropped and the constitution takes precedence. We discussed the predicaments they found themselves and the numerous court cases they have before them.

“I officially got their reply on 5th/12/2016 commending my efforts but categorically stated that they can’t grant my request, because though their law indicated the possibility of serving us with such information, it is only possible after fulfilling the conditions and Guidelines to be set by the National Assembly which is yet to be actualized.

“My investigation discovered that political office holders have a special immunity by law regarding their assets declaration, no journalist can request and obtain such an information.

He said the information requested falls under the categories of information the law forbids their disclosure.

The CCB, in the reply dated August 19, 2016, said, “We wish to appreciate your concern and effort at assisting the Bureau to ensure that public office holders comply with their constitutional requirements in the area of asset declaration.

“It is conceded that section 1(1)3 and 4 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011 guarantees the right of a person to access or request information whether or not in written form in the custody of any public agency.

“Conversely, by virtue of section 1e(a)(v), 14(1)(b) and 15(1)(a) of the same act, the Bureau is not under any obligation to grant any request to that as it constitutes invasion of personal privacy.

“Asset declaration by public office holders contains information, which falls within the exemption to the disclosure of the information in the Act.”

Katsina noted that, in the first media chat with President Muhammadu Buhari, which was widely publicised, one of the journalists had asked the president about his assets as contained in the Code of Conduct Bureau’s form he had filled.

According to him, the president responded by saying that the law permits anybody interested in such information to go to the Code of Conduct Bureau to obtain the information, not only his declaration, but that of any political office holder who was required by the law to fill the asset declaration form.

“That prompted me to start investigating whether all political appointees in Katsina State had filled the assets declaration forms. I wrote a letter to that effect and distributed to all concerned. That letter helped in reminding all those who did not fill the forms to fill, making Katsina one of the states that most complied with the filling of the assets declaration forms.”

Dare Gbadebo

Author: Dare Gbadebo is the publisher with the trademark darebaba.net is a versatile writer who had his media training based on photography at PEFTI film institute and has written for many top media houses in Nigeria. Stay tuned for your favorite celebrity news political updates and paparazzi. Darebaba on social media Facebook | Instagram | Google+

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