The Code of Conduct Bureau has issued a warning to election officials.
The CCB warned that without asset declaration no elected public official would be sworn in on May 29, 2023.
Veronica Kato, the spokesperson for the CCB, Mrs Veronica Kato, told The PUNCH in an interview that the ‘President-elect’, Bola Tinubu; the Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, 28 incoming governors-elect and elected members of the national and state assemblies must declare their assets before their inaugurations as stipulated by the law.
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Although several elected officials had started picking their assets declaration forms at the state offices of CCB, Kato maintained that under the 1999 Constitution, as amended, they are expected to submit the filled copies to the bureau before the inauguration day.
The constitution stipulates that all public officers shall declare their assets and liabilities on assumption of office and at the end of their tenure of office.
The affected officials are required to provide detailed information including but not limited to the number, types, address, and value of properties so declared and the date of acquisition as well as income derivable from the properties where appropriate.
Under the provisions of paragraph 11 of the 5th Schedule of the Federal Constitution, failure to declare assets as required by the law attracts on conviction removal from office, disqualification from holding any public office and forfeiture to the state of any property acquired in abuse of office or dishonesty.
Regarding the number of officials who had obtained their asset declaration forms, Kato said, “We have earlier revealed that the assets declaration is an ongoing process. Currently, they are already obtaining their forms as they are coming in.
“However, I can’t specifically state the total number of elected officials that have collected their assets declaration forms or their names because they are getting the forms from our various offices nationwide.
“The development is going on in the 36 other offices as we are doing it at the head office here in the Federal Capital Territory. Hence, until we are done receiving their filled forms, and have collated the figures, we cannot specifically tell the total number of persons that have picked up or submitted their forms.”
While warning that defaulting officials would not be sworn in, the CCB spokesperson, “No public official will be sworn into office without filling their assets declaration form. That is what is contained in our law. Before the oath of office would be conferred on any elected public officials, they must submit their assets declaration forms. It is part of the requirements for the swearing-in ceremony.”
In compliance with the law, the outgoing public officials, she disclosed, had begun to pick the assets declaration forms as part of the requirements for exiting the office.
Kato added, “The outgoing public officials have also started picking up their assets declaration forms. Many of them have started picking up the forms this week because officials are required to fill the forms and declare their assets both at the beginning and at the end of their tenure.”