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SERAP To Buhari: Publish Your Assets, Encourage Osinbajo, Others To Do Same

As the current administration gradually winds down on May 29, President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to declare his assets.

In a statement on Sunday, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) wants Buhari to encourage his Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and other top government officials to follow suit.

SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare said the President should use his “leadership position and role as the African Union Anti-Corruption Champion to widely publish your asset declaration form as you conclude your term of office in May 2023 and to leave a legacy of transparency.”

The group called on the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila and high-ranking officials of the next administration to also promptly publish their assets to date.

“Publishing your asset declaration form and encouraging other public officials and officials of the next administration to do so would enable Nigerians to scrutinize the assets and worth of public officials before taking office and at the end of their term of office,” the statement read.

“Those who voluntarily seek or occupy public offices and are catered for by the public have certain fiduciary duties to be open, transparent, and accountable to Nigerians regarding the details of their asset declaration forms.

“Because asset declaration forms are public documents, public officials cannot claim that publishing their assets would violate their privacy rights. There is an overriding public interest in the disclosure of information on the assets of public officers who clearly are trustees of Nigeria’s wealth and resources.

“SERAP urges you to emulate a good example of former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who consistently published his asset declaration forms as president and governor of Katsina State.

“He also planned legislative reform to make it mandatory for all public officers to declare their assets publicly. He believed that publishing his assets would put pressure on other public officers to do so.”

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