President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were on Sunday enjoined by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to follow the example of the Deputy Governor of Kebbi State, Yombe Samaila in making public their assets.
Though the president and the vice-president declared their assets before the Code of Conduct Bureau, the verified assets were not made public.
SERAP had sought through the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the assets of Buhari, Osinbajo and the governors and deputy governors.
Failing in that bid the organization went to court to enforce the FOI right, a move that made Mr. Samaila to right the organization and release the assets as declared to the CCB.
Among the assets declared by Samila was a private plane.
Mr Samaila’s letter dated 4 September 2020, and signed on his behalf by Nura Abdullahi Koko, Director of Administration, read in part: “In reference to your Freedom of Information request and suit, I am directed by Mr Samaila Yombe Dabai, Deputy Governor Kebbi state to forward herewith a copy of his assets declaration as requested by SERAP.”
“While thanking you for your understanding, please accept the assurance of the Deputy Governor best regards always.”
Mr Samaila’s assets declaration form, read in part: “Cash in Nigerian banks: N364,420, in a bank in Lagos, which is money from my military pension. N1,471, 958.56 in another bank in Kaduna, which is money from my personal income. I have no cash in foreign banks.”ai
“I bought a 3-bedroom flat [upstairs] in Kebbi state through my military savings and business income in 1984, and the property is valued at N16m. I also have a 6-bedroom and 2 Guest House of 3-bedroom in Kebbi state, valued at N38m. I have a 4-bedroom duplex in Asokoro, Abuja, which I bought in 2017 through personal income. I have no vacant/undeveloped plots.”
“I have a 2-bedroom flat in Kaduna state, and the property is valued at N30m. I bought it in 2001 through savings from business income. I earn N1m yearly from the property. I also have 48 hectares of farm land in Kaduna state, as a gift from the Emir of Dande in 1983. The property is valued at N10m. I make N2.5m yearly from the property.”
“I have a company named Yomed Nigeria Limited, Kaduna, which deals in air services, primary school and agriculture service equipment. The company was established in 2007, and is valued at N98m. I make N28m monthly as income from the company.”
“I also bought CESSNA 206 Aircraft, Kaduna in 2014, and it is valued at N99.6m, and I make N30m yearly as income from this.”
“I bought a Ford Bus Caravan in 2017, valued at N1.5m; Toyota Tundra in 2012 valued at N3m; Range Rover Jeep in 2013 valued at N7m; and another Ford Bus Caravan in 2016 valued at N5.2m.”
“I have 2 set of furniture and electronics in Kaduna and Zuru, which I bought between 2013—2019, and the property is valued at N3m. My wife owns a property valued at N25m but my children own no property. I have no government securities, no shares in and outside Nigeria.”
It would be recalled that SERAP had in its suit asked the court to grant “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus to direct and/or compel President Buhari, Vice-President Osinbajo, 36 state governors and their deputies to make public their summary of assets; disclose whether they have had any reason to review and update their asset declarations submitted to the CCB, and if the declarations have been made as constitutionally and statutorily required.”
Also, while reacting to SERAP FoI request to President Buhari, Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, had said: “SERAP asking the president to declare publicly, on the basis of what law? The president will do what the law requires of him and what the law requires is that he should declare his asset which he has done. Declaring publicly is not in our laws; it can only be a voluntary thing.”