The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), a non-governmental organisation, has asked the Code of conduct Bureau (CCB) to make public the assets declaration of Ibrahim Muhammad, acting chief justice of Nigeria (CJN).
In a letter dated January 28 to the chairman of the CCB, Chido Onumah, coordinator of AFRICMIL, said the group relies on its constitutional right to access information of public officials.
The group asked the bureau to inspect and obtain copies of Muhammad’s assets declaration forms on his elevation as a justice of the supreme court and on his appointment as acting CJN.
On Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari swore in Muhammad as the new CJN, pending the determination of the case against Walter Onnoghen, ex-CJN, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Onnoghen was accused of false assets declaration.
“Pursuant to the aforementioned provision of the 1999 constitution, as amended, and Section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011 which states that, “Notwithstanding anything contained in any other Act, law or regulation, the right of any person to access and request information, whether or not contained in any written form, which is in the custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution howsoever described, is hereby established,” we humbly request to be allowed to inspect and obtain copies of the following documents,” the letter read.
“The asset declaration of Honourable Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed JSC on his elevation as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria; the asset declaration of the Honourable Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed JSC on his appointment as Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“It is the sole responsibility of the Code of Conduct Bureau to ensure that all public officers declare their assets at the beginning and the end of their tenure in office. It is also their responsibility to ensure that the assets declared are verified to ensure compliance with the provisions of the law and also to establish possible cases of misconduct or corrupt enrichment, with a view to ensuring such culprits face the full wrath of the law.
“The CCB has the constitutional responsibility to retain custody of such asset declaration forms and make them available and accessible for inspection by any citizen of Nigeria on such terms and conditions as the National Assembly may prescribe.”