A House of Representatives member, Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas (Adamawa-APC), has insisted that assets declaration by public officers on assumption of office will help check corruption.
Namdas told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday that while the law had made it mandatory for all public office holders to declare their assets, it was not compulsory for the declared assets to be made public.
The lawmaker also urged public office holders to obey the law on assets declaration to strengthen good governance.
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“I think there is a misconception about Nigerians on the declaration of these assets; there is this feeling that it’s only elected members or elected officials that are to declare (assets).
“No! Every public officer, whether serving at the Local Government level, State level, Federal level – whichever level, once you are a public officer, you are expected to sign.
“And corruption does not just stop among those that are elected, it goes around even those that are appointed, so when you falsely declare your assets, be it whether elected or appointed, the bureau will follow due process.
“But I think this idea of people looking as if it is only elected individuals that should declare, I think it is not true, it is for everybody and I expect that everybody should subject himself to the law.
“It is not something we are negotiating on this matter, it is a constitutional requirement. So people should adhere to it.”
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The APC lawmaker, however, said that misconception was largely responsible for the insistence that an individual’s assets be made public by the Code of Conduct Bureau.
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“In my own opinion, it is constitutional provision that all elected and public office holders should declare their assets with the Code of Conduct Bureau on assumption of office and even on leaving office.
“For me, it is good that every public holder officer both elected and appointed should declare his assets, but is not mandatory that these assets must be declared publicly; it should be done in line with the law.
“The law did not insist that it must be made publicly, but it is an individual’s right who chooses to show transparency and it will go a long way by making it public.
“Individuals, who feel strongly about particular individual’s assets can always go to the Code of Conduct Bureau and obtain information from them.
“For me, I think it’s legal to declare, but it must not be done publicly; it’s an individual matter.“
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