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SERAP want Court of Appeal to order release of Buhari, Osinbajo’s asset declaration

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Court of Appeal to order the release of asset declaration details of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

SERAP told the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos to set aside a judgement of a Federal High Court, saying that the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) release to the public, asset.declararion that Buhari, Osinbajo governors and their deputies submitted it since 1999.

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had on Monday, May 11, 2020, dismissed the application filed by SERAP seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel the CCB to make available to the public specific details of asset declarations submitted to it by successive presidents, vice-presidents, senate presidents, speakers of House of Representatives, state governors and their deputies since 1999″, which SERAP again has approached the Court of Appeal.

Declining SERAP’s prayers, Justice Muslim Hassan said: “I agree with the CCB that the duty to make the asset declaration form of public officers available is dependent upon the terms and conditions to be proscribed by the National Assembly.

“The terms and conditions must be specific and related to asset declaration of public officers and not legislation of general nature such as the Freedom of Information Act.”

In the appeal which SERAP filed last week, it argued that: “The learned trial judge misinterpreted the provision and purport of paragraph 3[c], Third Schedule, Part 1 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended).

“The judge did not consider that the Freedom of information was enacted by the National Assembly in 2011 to grant public access to public documents.”

“The learned trial Judge erred in law by holding that the Freedom of information Act is a legislation of general nature in relation to public access to asset declaration forms of public officers.

“The judge erred in law when he held that SERAP’s application ‘is unmeritorious and it is accordingly dismissed.’”

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