Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Professor Yemi Osinbajo to “follow the good example of Mr Yombe Dabai Samaila, deputy governor Kebbi state, by immediately publishing their asset declaration forms.”
Mr Samaila while responding to SERAP’s suit had last week forwarded his asset declaration form to the organization. The form dated 28 May, 2019, and sworn to before the High Court of Justice, Bikebbi, Kebbi state, shows that Mr Samaila declared assets, including landed property and cash in banks, valued at N353,136,378.56, from which he stated that he receives N61,500,000.00 yearly as income.
SERAP had in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/65/2020 filed in January, 2020 asked the Federal High Court, Abuja to order President Buhari, Vice-President Osinbajo, 36 state governors and their deputies to “make public details of their assets, specifically property and income, contained in their asset declaration forms submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) since assuming office.”
In a statement dated 4 October, 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “We welcome Mr Samaila’s demonstrated commitment to transparency and accountability, especially at a time when many government officials and institutions continue to exhibit blatant disregard for Freedom of Information requests by refusing to even acknowledge several of such requests.”
SERAP said: “President Buhari and Vice-President Osinbajo should show leadership by immediately widely publishing their asset declaration forms, just as Mr Samaila has rightly done. We also call on Mr Abubakar Bagudu, governor Kebbi state and other governors and their deputies to emulate and learn from Mr Samaila’s good example by immediately publishing their assets.”
SERAP also said: “President Buhari and Vice-President Osinbajo should stand up for transparency in asset declarations by public officers as a sign of their oft-repeated principled stand on transparency and accountability in the management of the country’s resources. This government’s stated commitment to fight corruption will ring hollow as long as Buhari and Osinbajo continue to ignore repeated requests to publish their asset declaration forms.”