By Tobias Lengnan with Agency report
The Code of Conduct of Bureau (CCB) has warned that it is more than prepared to prosecute erring civil servants and public office holders, at both federal and state levels, over non-declaration of asset.
Chairman of the Bureau, Prof. Isah Mohammed, gave the warning yesterday while speaking to News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
The CCB chairman advised civil servants and public office holders against flagrant
abuse of its Act by declaring their assets at the required regular interval.
“It is elementary to state that public servants have the mandate to renew their CCB asset declaration form at four years interval.
“Let me also tell you here that new appointees and employees of government are respectively mandated to declare their assets after joining the service,” he said.
Mohammed said though the bureau had not been particularly active in the monitoring and prosecution of offenders, there is now a renewed commitment to ensure that the body remained proactive.
He said the bureau was considering a nationwide publicity campaign to educate civil servants and public office holders on the danger of not declaring their assets adequately.
Mohammed also said Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government should appoint a desk officer that would continually abreast other staff of the need to update their assets with the bureau.
“The Code of Conduct Bureau and the Code of Conduct Tribunal are the creation of the 1999 Constitution as amended; and we have resolved to ensure full application of the law against offenders. We are collaborating with other anti-corruption agencies and the police to form the required synergy to fight corruption in the country.
“There would be no hiding place for a public servant who keeps away his or her assets from public knowledge. Such assets must be declared at CCB at the right time,’’ he said.
On the charges against Justice Walter Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), the CCB boss said the bureau’s action was in line with the law.
According to him, Justice Onnoghen’s record with the bureau has given the establishment the impetus to commence his prosecution.
He explained further that the action was not driven by political consideration, adding that the public must view the allegations against the CJN as infraction of CCB’s law.
On the need to re-position the bureau, Mohammed said efforts were on to address all the challenges that had affected the smooth operation of the body.
“We are seriously working hard to take care of the welfare of our officers as little or nothing can be achieved without their full commitment.”