Federal government and the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, were yesterday dragged before a Federal High Court in Abuja to challenge the propriety or otherwise of the practice of accepting assets declarations from public officers without a valuation report of experts.
The registered trustees of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, NIESV, which instituted the legal action was asking the Federal High Court to restrain the CCB from accepting or receiving assets declaration from public officers without a back up valuation report.
In the court action, filed on behalf of the body by Mr. Ikechi Gerald Nweneka, it was contended that the practice of accepting assets declaration without a report by a registered estate surveyor and valuer to determine the real value of assets was in contravention of section 3 (a) and (b) part 1 of the third schedule of the 1999 Constitution.
Other plaintiff in the suit is Olorogun James Omeru, the President of NIESV.
The Attorney General of the Federation, CCB and Mr. Sam Saba, the CCB Chairman are the three defendants.
The plaintiffs sought court declaration that the current practice of the CCB in receiving assets declaration from public officers without a valuation report signed by a registered estate surveyors and valuers was in contravention of section 3 (a) and (b) of the 1999 constitution and section 3 (a) and (b) of the CCB and Tribunal Act.
They also asked for a declaration by the court that the combined force of sections 2 and 15 (1) of the CCB and Tribunal Act cap C15 and paragraph 6 (d) a valuation report of the assets of public officers signed by a registered estate surveyor and valuers was necessary for a valid asset declaration to be received by the CCB.
In a 19-paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summons, plaintiffs averred that by law, only persons registered by the estate surveyors and valuer registration board of Nigeria have authority to value assets in Nigeria.
The affidavit deposed to by Olorogun James Omeru indicated that the current practice by public officers was to allocate figures to their assets without any professional input or ascertainment of the true value of the assets.
Plaintiffs averred that the practice was largely responsible and has heightened corrupt practices by public officers in the country.
They also contended that the CCB had a duty to maintain high standard morality and accountability in the conduct of government business by ensuring that the actions and behaviours of public officers conform to the highest standards of morality and accountability.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.


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