By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
The Code of Conduct Bureau(CCB) and the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, have been dragged before a Federal High Court, Abuja, over asset declaration.
The plaintiff, Hon. Emmanuel Agonsi, in an Exparte Motion prayed the court to direct the CCB to produce to the court the certified copies of the asset declaration form of the INEC chairman and his unmarried adult children kept by the CCB.
In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/33/2021, the plaintiff prayed the court to order the CCB to produce the asset declaration form of Prof. Yakubu for the period of 2007 to 2012 and 2015 to 2020.
The exparte application filed by his counsel, Barrister E. C. Muokwudo, is also asking the court to order the CCB to furnish him with information about all the properties, assets and liabilities of his unmarried adult children submitted to the CCB for the period covered.
According to the plaintiff, on December 20, 2020, he wrote to CCB, seeking information on the asset declaration from the INEC Chairman.
The letter acknowledged by the Office of the Chairman of the CCB, reads, ‘’I am the promoter of Public Officer Integrity and Accountability Forum with the aim of fighting corruption and allied vices among public officers in Nigeria.
Accordingly, pursuant to Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2011 and based on the information and records of Assets Declaration Forms of public officers including Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, the Chaian of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and his unmarried adult children kept by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB). I hereby specifically apply to be furnished with the following information.’’
Some of the assets the plaintiff is praying the court to declare open are, details of asset declaration made by Prof. Yakubu when he held office as TETFUND Executive Secretary between 2007 to 2012 and as INEC Chairman between 2015 to 2020.
The plaintiff prayed the court for a declaration that the 1st respondent (CCB) has a statutory and public duty to to furnish the applicant with information and details concerning the 2nd respondent (Prof. Yakubu) as contained in the applicant’s letter dated 17th December, 2020.
He also prayed the court to to declare that the refusal or failure of CCB to respond to or comply with the applicant’s request as contained in his letter dated 17th December, 2020 constitutes a refusal/failure of the CCB statutory and/or public duty to the applicant and therefore unlawful, illegal, abuse of power, abuse of discretion and ultra vires.