2023: CISLAC Calls for Support for CCB to Ease Implementation of Online Asset Declaration

Paschal Emeka, Abuja

Few months to the 2023 general elections, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, has called on the government, media and other civil society groups to support the initiative of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to operationalize online asset declaration for those seeking public offices.

The Chairman of CISLAC, Auwal Rafsanjani who spoke at a virtual meeting during a capacity training for journalists on Tuesday said online asset declaration was necessary for engendering accountability and integrity of public officers.

While urging candidates to ensure full compliance with asset declaration laws by the CCB, Rafsanjani tasked the CCB on investigating offences of asset declaration to send such offences to the tribunal for trial.

He charged the CCB to go ahead to investigate past leaks around non-compliance with asset declaration when the officers get into office.

He regretted that despite 110 prominent Nigerians exposed in 2016 by the Panama leaks, no meaningful action was taken in terms of criminal investigation, prosecution or asset confiscation adding that the only thing government can do is to constitute a Panama papers investigation committee.

“No political price has been incurred by these Nigerian politicians, military leaders, civil servants implicated by the reports despite the obvious violation of existing legislations and policies regulating assets declaration for political officers and Public servants,” CISLAC Chairman noted.

According to him, ”As we approach 2023, we want candidates to declare their assets publicly and tell us their commitment to the people.

“There is no way corruption can be fought in the world without asset declaration taken seriously, so it is important we have candidates committing to declaring their assets. Also, the Code of Conduct Bureau and Code of Conduct Tribunal should be given adequate support in their effort to fight corruption and operationalize their online asset declaration initiative.

“The CCB should on its part investigate offences on asset declaration and also send such offences to the tribunal for adjudication.”

Also, speaking the Chief Operating Officer, 21st Century Community Empowerment for youth and women Initiative, Lukman Adefolahan, called for the amendment of the constitution in line with 21st-century realities and for the CCB to review its strategies and develop an actionable SWOT analysis.

The representative of the Chairman of CCB Prof Mohammed Isah called on the media to partner with the Bureau in sensitizing the public on the need for asset declaration stressing that ignorance is not an excuse in the court of law.

He also called for more judges as there are only three judges at the tribunal saying such had slowed the prosecution process.

”There are three Judges at the tribunal which slows the process of prosecution, therefore advocacy for more judges is eminent to fast track the process,” he said.

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