buhariBarely six months after President Muhammadu Buhari declared that he would publicly declare his assets if elected into office, the Presidency yesterday said he never promised to make his assets public.
At the peak of the presidential campaign in February, the then presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was applauded when he said his assets declaration form will be made public and all his appointees will do the same as part of strategies to enthrone transparency and curb corruption.
In his widely publicised, “100 Days Covenant with Nigerians” published just before the presidential elections in March this year then presidential candidate, Buhari pledged to “Publicly declare my assets and liabilities.”
Buhari also stated, “I pledge to publicly declare my assets and liabilities, encourage all my appointees to publicity declare their assets and liabilities as a pre-condition for appointment. All political appointees will only earn the salaries and allowances determined by the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Allocation Commission, RMFAC.”
However, in an interview with a social commentator, Kayode Ogundamis, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said the issue of assets publishing cannot be credited to Buhari but the ruling All Progressives Congress.
He said Buhari has declared his assets in compliance with the law and may decide to make them public when the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, concludes verification.
Adesina said, “You need to get his words right, go and check all that the President said during the campaign, in no place would you see it attributed to him as a person.
“But then there is a document by his party, the All Progressives Congress, saying he would declare publicly, so we need to set that right, it’s a declaration by his party.
“Now what does the law require? The law requires public officers to declare their assets; he has done that. But his party has a document that says he would do it publicly.
“There is a procedure for that, and the procedure is that you first declare, code of conduct (bureau) would verify and after that, if you want to make it public, the onus lies on you to say release. The procedure has to be followed.”
Since Buhari came into office on May 29, Nigerians have been mounting pressure on him and the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to make good his promise to put to the public domain his assets and liabilities declaration.
Following this pressure, the presidential spokesman said the decision to release or not release the asset for public consumption would be taken by the president when CDC verification is done.
“He has declared, and it is deposited with the code of conduct bureau and they need to verify. Let’s come to that time when code of conduct would say we have completed verification.”
On May 31, the head of Buhari’s media team, Garba Shehu, in a statement said the President and the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have declared their assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau as required by the Constitution but failed to make the contents public.
Shehu added that the CCB, through its Chairman, Sam Saba, acknowledged the receipt of the forms.
He gave Buhari’s declaration identity number as “President: 000001/2015.”
So far none of the appointees of Mr. President has declared their assets and liabilities publicly. This development is coming few days after the presidency appointed seven aides for the wife of the President.
During the electioneering campaign, President Buhari also promised to abolish office of the First Lady.

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