Asset Declaration: Comparing Yar’Adua and Buhari (MUST READ)

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday, September 3, 2015 made a public declaration of their assets , eliciting divergent views from several quarters.
While many have applauded the presidency for
fulfilling the first of his “ covenants with Nigerians,” others have
criticized the for
attempting to toy with the intelligence of Nigerians.
In a bid to balance issues out, The Trent attempts to bring to cognizance other factors necessary for Nigerians to base their judgement. In the history of Nigerian leaders, late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was the first sitting President to publicly declare his assets, which he did upon assumption of office in 2007. In our books, his standard and the requirements of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) should serve as credible yardsticks to measure the credibility of President Buhari’s declaration.
According to the CCB, these are the requirements for declaration of assets by public office holders:
1. This form is a schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) and it is mandatory
for all Public Officers whether elected, appointed, recruited, contracted etc, by whatever name called to collect and sign for the form from the Code of Conduct
Bureau Office nearest to their work station in any of the 36 states of the Federation and F.C.T. or the Code of Conduct Bureau Headquarters at the Federal Secretariat
Complex, Shehu Shagari Way, Maitama District, Abuja.
2. The responsibility to collect, fill and return the form rests solely with the declarant; therefore, submission of
completed forms by the declarant through his/her respective Head of Department does not in any way exonerate declarant from responsibility or liability.
3. Every declarant is required by Law to declare his/her assets/liability including that of his spouse(s) who is not a Public Officer and children under 18 years age,
honestly, sincerely and submit same to the Bureau within 30 days of the receipt of the forms.
4. You are to declare ONLY those Assets/Liabilities you ACTUALLY own at the material time of filling the form. DO NOT declare any Assets/Liabilities you are
anticipating to have before actual acquisition.
5. All properties/assets acquired outside Nigeria MUST be stated clearly with the value of the said Assets in the Currency of the Country where the property is situated.
6. After the completion of the form, the declarant must personally go and swear to the declaration before a High Court Judge nearest to his work station before submitting it to the Bureau.
7. Every Public Officer is to NOTE that it is the requirement of the Law to declare his/her assets/liabilities on (a) Assumption of office; (b) At the end of his term of Office, (c). At interval of four years for Public
Officers on continuous employment of Government whether Federal, State or Local Government: (d) and at such other intervals as the Bureau may determine from time to time.
8. When filling the form, you are required to provide detailed information including but not limited to the number, types, address, value of properties so declared
and the date of acquisition as well as income derivable from the properties where appropriate.
9. NOTE that where a question in any column is not applicable, you are required to state reason(s).
10. Also NOTE that all declarations made by declarant are subject to VERIFICATION by the Officers of the Bureau authorized on that behalf.
11. Failure to declare your assets as required under the provisions of paragraph 11 of the 5th Schedule of the Federal Constitution shall attract on conviction any or all of the following; (a) Removal from office, (b) Disqualification from holding any Public office, (c) forfeiture to the state any property acquired in abuse of office or dishonesty.
Below is the asset declaration made by the late Yar’Adua, according to a June 29, 2007 report in The Guardian:
President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua yesterday made public “photocopies of his duly and honestly completed assets
declaration form.” The gesture was the first by any of Nigeria’s helmsmen since
independence in 1960. According to the details released to journalists by the Special Adviser to the President
(Communications), Mr. Segun Adeniyi, Yar’Adua has a total assets value of N856, 452,892. These include a total of N19
million owned by the First Lady, Turai.
His total liabilities being outstanding loans secured with the Unity Bank Plc, Imani Estate branch, Maitama,Abuja, is put at
The President’s assets include remunerations, savings, campaigns, post-campaign contributions, buildings and vacant plots of land, farms and orchard, cash at hand and vehicles.
The President disclosed that he has no foreign account or assets. The bulk of his assets were listed under the remunerations, savings, campaigns, post campaign contributions and 29 campaign vehicles located in Katsina, his home state and Abuja.
All the assets are as they stood as at yesterday, 28 June 2007. The total yearly income is put at N18.7 million, while his wife has a total yearly income of N132,000. The release of the documents, Adeniyi said, is consistent with the President’s campaign pledge. Yar’Adua gave assurance that he would work with the leadership of the National Assembly “to see what can be done to make assets declaration an effective weapon in the fight against corruption and abuse of office.”
Adeniyi said that the President released the documents in spite of the contrary advice of the Code of Conduct Bureau.
“The President notified the Bureau of his intention to make the form available to the public in fulfillment of his campaign pledge, which was borne out of his conviction that the war against corruption cannot have meaning until those at the
helms of affairs begin to live by example. The Bureau, while appreciating the noble intention of the President, counselled
against the move on the grounds that such an action from the number one citizen would put pressure on other categories of public officers to do same, even when the constitution makes
the exercise a confidential matter.”
Adeniyi continued: “The dilemma of the President in the last four weeks has therefore been where to strike a balance
between the well-meaning concerns of the Bureau, and following his conviction that his campaign pledge to Nigerians is a solemn commitment. Having weighed the two sides, the President has come to the conclusion that since he will not be
breaking any law, he cannot go back on his promise to the nation.”
A breakdown of the assets declaration shows that Yar’Adua has a total of N43,702,892.43 as cash at bank, being
remuneration, savings, campaign and post-campaign contributions lodged with the Bank PHB. Details show that while a total of N26,602,681.00 stands as credit at the Bank PHB, Nagogo Road , KatsinaState branch; N12,000,264.21 is
in the Apapa, Lagos State branch of the same bank.
Also, a total of N4,999,947.22 is at the head office of the bank in Kaduna. The President declared N7.5 million as cash in
hand. This was derived from savings, campaign and post-campaign contributions. The President declared a total of N88,793,269.77 as his liabilities, being cash in Nigerian banks as loans and debit at the Imani Estate, Maitama, Abuja
branch of Unity Bank Plc (formerly Intercity Bank). These are in two accounts of N26,817,362.19 and another
N61,975,907.58. Yar’Adua also declared a total assets value of N577,000,000 under buildings, vacant and undeveloped
plots sections. This includes the Yar’Adua family compound at Yar’Adua Quarters in Katsina State , valued at N105,000,000. This was acquired through inheritance in November 1997.
There is also a multi-storey building at A8 Wuse 2, Abuja with total value of N212,000,000. The land was granted by the Federal Government to him in 1988. Again, there is a duplex at Malali, Kaduna State with a value of N120,000,000.
According to the President, the building, originally a three bedroom bungalow, was a gift from his late elder brother, Major-General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua.
There is another seven-bedroom duplex at 2, Lema Jubril Close valued at N90,000,000 that was built from savings in 1987. The President also declared that he has a vacant plot at Asokoro New Layout in Abuja valued at N50,000,000. This was granted by the Federal Government to him in 1998. He
also declared two farms worth N25,000,000 in Katsin aState .
They include the one at Ruwan Godiya in Faskari Local Council of Katsina State valued at N10,000,000. This was
acquired in 1982. Another farmland and orchad is also located at Ajiwa, Batagarawa Local Council in Katsina State and is worth N15,000,000. It was acquired in 1993. Under shares, debentures and other securities in and outside Nigeria,
President Yar’Adua declared that he has 2,000,000 units of shares of Habib Bank acquired in 1998 which is in the
process of being converted to Bank PHB; 100,000 units of shares of Intercity Bank Plc also in the process of conversion
to Unity Bank Plc and another 100,000 units of shares of Muradi Hotels Limited.
While disclosing that he has vehicles worth N181,250,000, the President stated that he has 29 new cars worth N174,700,000 in both Katsina and Abuja that he described as campaign vehicles, adding that he owns a Honda Accord car worth N350,000 and a Mercedes Benz worth another N6,500,000.
The President, who went a step further to declare the assets of his wife and First Lady, Hajiya Turai, stated that she has a
total asset of N19,000,000 made up of three local houses worth N1,5000,000 acquired in 1998; one twin bungalow
valued at N15,000,000 located in Kofar Kaura Layout in Katsina State acquired in 2002 and three vacant plots in Katrina acquired in 2003 worth N2,500,000. He also disclosed that household furniture in Katsina that he acquired when he was a director of Habib Bank is worth N3,000,000.
The press briefing was Adeniyi’s first at the Presidential Villa Abuja since his appointment about three weeks ago. He also disclosed that “the President is equally interested in discussing with the National Assembly leadership on the
Freedom of Information Bill, which lapsed with the last administration, with a view to ensuring its quick passage in pursuit of his determination to instil transparency and
accountability in the conduct of government business.” Below is the press release by Garba Shehu, declaring
President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo’s assets: “Documents submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari to
the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), show that the retired General has indeed been living an austere and Spartan lifestyle, contrary to what many might expect of a former Head of State of Nigeria and one who has held a number of top government positions, such as governor, Minister of
petroleum and the head of the Petroleum Development Trust Fund (PTDF).
“The documents submitted to the CCB, which officials say are still being vetted and will soon be made public, show that
prior to being sworn in on May 29, President Buhari had less than N30 million to his name. He also had only one bank
account, with the Union Bank. President Buhari had no foreign account, no factory and no enterprises.
“He also had no registered company and no oil wells.
“The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) who had
been a successful lawyer before his foray into politics declared a bank balance of about N94 million and 900,000
United States Dollars in his bank accounts.
“President Buhari declared however that he had shares in Berger Paints, Union Bank and Skye Bank.
“This is entirely unlike what one might expect from a former head of state of a country like Nigeria.
“The documents also revealed that President Buhari had a total of five homes, and two mud houses in Daura. He had
two homes in Kaduna, one each in Kano, Daura and in Abuja.
One of the mud houses in Daura was inherited from his late older sister, another from his late father. He borrowed money
from the old Barclays Bank to build two of his homes.
“President Buhari also has two undeveloped plots of land, one in Kano and the other in Port Harcourt. He is still trying to trace the location of the Port Harcourt land.
“In addition to the homes in Daura, he has farms, an orchard and a ranch. The total number of his holdings in the farm
include 270 heads of cattle, 25 sheep, five horses, a variety of birds and a number of economic trees.
“The documents also showed that the retired General uses a number of cars, two of which he bought from his savings and
the others supplied to him by the federal government in his capacity as former Head of State. The rest were donated to
him by well-wishers after his jeep was damaged in a Boko Haram bomb attack on his convoy in July 2014.
“As revealed by the same forms, highlights of the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo’s asset declaration include his 4-bedroom residence at Victoria Garden City,
Lagos and a 3-bedroom flat at 2 Mosley Road, Ikoyi. The Vice President also has a 2-bedroom flat at the popular Redemption Camp along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and a 2-bedroom mortgaged property in Bedford, England. Aside from these, the Vice President has no other landed properties on the form.
“Apart from his law firm, known as SimmonsCooper, the Vice-President also declared shareholding in six private companies based in Lagos, including Octogenerium Ltd., Windsor Grant
Ltd., Tarapolsa, Vistorion Ltd., Aviva Ltd. and MTN Nigeria.
“According to details shown on the form, the Vice-President has about ninety four million naira, nine hundred thousand US dollars and nineteen thousand pounds in Nigerian Banks with the foreign currencies kept in local domiciliary accounts.
His personal vehicles are one Infinity 4-Wheel Drive SUV, one Mercedes Benz and a Prado Jeep.
“As soon as the CCB is through with the process, the documents will be released to the Nigerian public and people can see for themselves.”
From the above it can be seen that number 8 of the CCB requirement was not followed in Mr. Shehu’s statement, neither were the liabilities of the top 2 citizens released. This falls short of the promise made by President Buhari in
the campaign document, “my covenant with Nigerians."
Source: The Trent
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About Ukandu Jerry Paul

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