The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit in the Federal High Court, Lagos, against the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) over the CCB’s refusal to disclose details of asset declarations submitted by successive presidents and state governors since 1999.
The CCB had last week refused a Freedom of Information request by SERAP, stating that: “Asset declaration form is private information.”
But in the suit filed last Friday, SERAP argued that asset declarations of presidents and state governors submitted to the CCB are public documents.
SERAP also argued that disclosing details of asset declarations of public officers such as presidents and state governors will improve public trust in the ability of the CCB to effectively discharge its mandate.
This would, in turn, put pressure on public officers like presidents and state governors to make voluntary public declaration of their assets.
SERAP is, therefore, seeking among others an order compelling CCB to compile and make available details of asset declarations submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau by successive Presidents, Vice Presidents, Senate Presidents, Speakers of House of Representatives, State Governors and Deputy Governors from 1999 to 2019 and to publish widely including on a dedicated website, any such information.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.