On 28 June 2007, late president Umaru Musa Yar'Adua publicly
revealed his declaration of assets submitted in May (becoming the first
Nigerian Leader to do so).
This disclosure, which fulfilled a pre-election promise he
made, was intended to set an example for other Nigerian politicians and
discourage corruption, which it did.
Late Umaru Yar'Adua was sworn in on May 29th 2007 but
didn't submit his declaration form to code of conduct bureau, CCB on June 28th
2007-the day he publicly declared the assets, like President Buhari he turned
in his assets immediately after he was sworn in, in May to satisfy the
conditions of the law which states that you cannot act as President until you
have sent it to CCB.
It was a month later, on June 28th that
year that he made public duly signed copies of the assets list he had turned in
a month earlier.
According to procedures, you would give CCB time, up to 30
days to verify whatever assets you had claim you have as contained in your
submission. This explains why late Yar'Adua’s public declaration didn't happen
until one month after his swearing in. A little research reveals these points.
Quoting the CCB, verification is done thus: “First, is the
examination that is carried out at the point of submitting the Assets
Declaration Form. Second, is during individual or conference verification when
documents are cited for authentication. Third, is when there is a need for
field investigation when an offer goes to the field to see the houses, the
landed properties etc.”
This process takes time. It is responsible to wait till your
assets have been verified before they are made public.
Garba Shehu Misspoke/Misquoted
It is however understandable that by the newly appointed
presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu's statements which are quoted as suggesting
the president had already made his asset declaration public was erroneous.
According to the Press, fresh-on-the-job Garba Shehu said,
“By declaring their assets, President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo may
have not only fulfilled the requirements of the Nigerian Constitution, but also
fulfilled the first of their many campaign promises.
“While seeking election into the highest office in the land,
the President had promised Nigerians that he would publicly declare his assets
as soon as he took over government.”
Rightly so, the constitutional requirements have been
fulfilled but the campaign promise to make this public is expected to be
fulfilled shortly at the expiration of the verification period and only before
if already verified or if the president and vice-president decide to do so in a
hurry to placate the anxious public.
Campaign Season Is Over
At this time it is advisable all Nigerians, private citizens
and government officials alike exercise patience and appreciate the reality
that campaign season is over.
We should all work carefully and confidently towards
building #ANigeriaWeLove without confusing ourselves and distracting this
administration we elected with an unmeasurable load on its shoulders.
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