The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) has blamed its inability to publicly disclose the assets declared by President Goodluck Jonathan and other public officers on constitutional constraints.
Chairman of the bureau, Mr. Sam Saba, said this Tuesday in Abuja during the 2012 ministerial press briefing organised by the commission. He stated that Section 3(f) the constitution was against the letters of the Freedom of Information Act, upon which the assets declaration are required to be made public.
Saba insisted that the bureau would not compromise the letters and spirit of the constitution by revealing the personal assets declared by the president and other public office holders, except and until a pronouncement is made by the National Assembly to that effect, or the section in the constitution is repealed.
“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is superior to the FoI Act, and until the National Assembly says otherwise, CCB would not make public the assets declaration forms of office holders,” he said.
Saba also said that a total number of 134,717 defaulters of assets declaration were identified throughout the federation in 2012, following the review of assets that had been declared by public office holders.
According to him, during the year under review, assets declared by state governors, deputy governors, ministers, commissioners, and other top government functionaries, including local government chairmen and councilors, were verified through a conference field verification.
“A total number of 230 eligible declarants were identified, and issued with assets declaration forms for completion, while a total of 83,653 acknowledgment slips were issued throughout the federation and a total of 134,717 defaulters were identified,” he stated.