The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) has raised teams to begin the verification of the accounts and assets of governors, ministers and other appointees of President Bola Tinubu.
The Chairman of CCB, Prof. Isah Mohammed, said the Bureau had made asset declaration a precondition for the ministerial screening by the National Assembly and taking the oath of office.
Speaking with The Nation, Mohammed stated that the Bureau would also verify the asset declarations by political officeholders at the federal, state and local government levels.
He said the CCB is collaborating with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), banks, and vehicle registration offices nationwide, among others.
Mohamed also revealed that the verification exercise may take many months, adding that the list of accounts and assets of the ministers has been sent to the CCB and other agencies.
He said: “We have put machinery in motion for the verification of the assets of the office holders. We have activated the departments connected with this exercise. They are state and local government, federal political office, and federal public service.
“We are working on the claims of the governors, ministers and other political officeholders, whether elected or appointed. At the end of the exercise, those with grey areas in their asset declaration forms will be invited to clarify the discrepancies.
“We will also verify some assets abroad as pleaded by some office holders.”
Bahdstreetvibes reports that Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution empowers the CCB to receive asset declarations by any public officer.
According to the Constitution, about 16 categories of public officers are bound by the Code of Conduct.
They include the President, Vice President, the President of the Senate, Deputy President of the Senate, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and all members of the legislative houses, governors and deputy governors.
Others are the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justices of the Supreme Court, the President and Justices of the Court of Appeal, all other judicial officers and all staff of the court of law, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Attorney-General of each state.
The list covers the Ministers of the Government of the Federation, commissioners of the governments of the states, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chairmen and board members of all government agencies, Ambassadors, High Commissioners and other officers of Nigerian missions abroad.
More officers affected are the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff and all members of the Armed Forces of the Federation.