By Robert Egbe
A Federal Excessive Courtroom in Lagos on Monday declined to compel the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to launch data on asset declarations of politicians and public officers.
Justice Muslim Hassan dismissed as unmerritorous an software by the Registered Committee of Socio-Financial Rights and Accountability Mission (SERAP) in search of an order compelling the CCB to make the knowledge, amongst others, accessible.
The choose upheld the CCB’s argument that releasing such data relies on phrases and circumstances to be proscribed by the Nationwide Meeting.
He referred to Part 15(3) of the Structure which establishes the Code of Conduct Bureau, its composition and agreed with the CCB that paragraph 3(a,b&c) of Half 1 Third schedule of the 1999 Structure “may be very clear and unambiguous”
“I agree with the respondent that the obligation to make the asset declaration type of public officers accessible for any particular person or establishments and for no matter goal relies upon phrases and circumstances to be prescribed the Nationwide Meeting,” the choose stated.
To attain this, he famous, the Nationwide Meeting has to move an Act to that impact which has but to be performed.
The courtroom held additional that the phrases and circumstances to be prescribed by Nationwide Meeting have to be particular and relate to asset declaration of public officers and never a laws of normal nature such because the Freedom of Data Act, 2011.
“Within the mild of the above, I maintain that the moment software is unmerritorous and it’s accordingly dismissed,” Hassan stated.
SERAP had on June 19, 2019 filed the applying in search of go away to use for judicial evaluation of the CCB.
It additionally sought an order of mandamus compelling the Bureau to offer data on the variety of asset declarations thus far verified by it, the variety of these declarations discovered to be false and in breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers.
It additionally prayed that the Bureau be directed to publish any such data extensively, together with on a devoted web site.
Moreover, the Applicant additionally sought an order directing the Respondent to “instantly take instances of false asset declarations to the Code of Conduct Tribunal for efficient prosecution of suspects…’
It additionally prayed that “banning the politicians concerned from holding public places of work for at the least a interval of 10 years and in search of refund of stolen public funds” be a part of the reliefs the CCB ought to search on the Tribunal.