In a swift reaction to the demand of Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP on Sunday, that President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice president Yemi Osinbajo and all 36 governors should declare their assets, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has strongly asserted that his principal is not compelled by any law to make public his assets for second term. The spokesman made this statement on Monday evening on Channels TV.
SERAP, in a statement on Sunday had given President Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and the 36 state governors seven days to make their assets public.
The organisation added that the non-public disclosure by public officials of their summary of assets seriously undermines the effectiveness and integrity of the constitutional and statutory obligations to submit asset declarations.
But, Adesina insisted that the decision to make the assets public is a matter of voluntary will and not a compulsion. ‘The President will do what the law requires of him and I can say for a fact that the President has declared his assets.’
‘Declaring that publicly is not in our law but voluntary therefore he cannot be compelled to do so. The FOI Act, however, establishes the right of anyone to request information in the custody of any public official, agency or institution, with the exception of security files which are not of public concern.
Asked if the President will oblige if the FOI Act was invoked, Mr Adesina further affirmed that making the President’s assets public will be based on the discretion of the Code of Conduct Bureau.
‘If FOI Act is invoked, it will be left with the Code of Conduct Bureau to release such information. The President has declared and already deposited the documents to them. So, it’s left to them to make such a decision’, he ended. On a flashback, both President Buhari and his Vice, Osinbajo made a public declaration at their first tenure in 2015.
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