Assets Declaration: Patience Jonathan Is Daring The Law – Group
…Threatens Legal Action Against Conduct Bureau
BEVERLY HILLS, May 23, (THEWILL) – For refusing to declare her assets since her resignation as Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa State Civil Service on the October 23, 2014, a civil rights organisation, Grassroots Initiative for Open and Democratic Governance in Nigeria (GIODGN), has declared the action of the outgoing First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, as totally unacceptable, saying it amounted to a flagrant abuse of the laws of the country.
The group also said the failure of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to perform its statutory and constitutional duties is not only a big drawback to the nation's democracy but a serious disservice to the people of Bayelsa State, where Dame Jonathan held the appointment between between July, 2012 and October, 2014.
While, blaming both the First Lady and CCB “for this very obvious lapse”, the group called for an urgent reversal, and threatened to “institute a legal action, if nothing is done within the shortest possible time.”
A statement issued on Saturday by the National President of GIODGN, Daniel Clapton, and Secretary General, Godstime Innocent, stated that the First Lady's refusal to declare her assets after stepping down as Permanent Secretary negates the provisions of the Code of Conduct, which requires public servants to declare their assets before and after leaving office.
The statement reads: “It is unacceptable and an abuse of our existing laws for anybody, no matter how highly placed, to refuse to do the needful, by not declaring his or her assets, nearly seven months, after voluntarily resigning from a position. Our institutions must be alive to their responsibilities and that is the only way we can build a strong and virile democracy for the present and future generations of our people.”
GIODGN also frowned at the inability of the relevant organs of the government to enforce the existing laws of the land, stressing that the CCB, whose responsibility it is, in the case, should act fast in the interest of the nation's nascent democracy.