Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Code of Conduct of Bureau (CCB), has explained that the trial of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over alleged non declaration of assets is not politically motivated but in line with the law.
The Bureau made the explanation yesterday in Abuja while warning that it was fully ready and prepared to prosecute erring civil servants and public office holders at both federal and state levels against non-declaration of assets.
Chairman of the Bureau, Prof. Isah Mohammed made the position of the establishment public during a chat with newsmen.
Mohammed who urged the public to see the prosecution of the CJN as an infraction of the law, noted that Justice Onnoghen’s record with the Bureau, rather than any other consideration gave rise to his prosecution.
According to him, Justice Onnoghen’s record with the bureau has given the establishment the impetus to commence his prosecution.
He explained further that the action was not driven by political consideration, adding that the public must view the allegations against the CJN as infraction of CCB’s law.
Prof. Mohammed advised civil servants and public office holders against flagrant abuse of its Act by declaring their assets at the required regular interval.
He admitted that the bureau had not been particularly active in the monitoring and prosecution of offenders, adding that there was a renewed commitment to ensure that the body remained proactive.
“The Code of Conduct Bureau and the Code of Conduct Tribunal are the creation of the 1999 Constitution as amended and we have resolved to ensure full application of the law against offenders.
“We are collaborating with other anti-corruption agencies and the police to form the required synergy to fight corruption in the country.
“There would be no hiding place for a public servant who keeps away his or her assets from public knowledge. Such assets must be declared at CCB at the right time,’’ he said.
Mohammed said the bureau was considering a nationwide publicity campaign to educate civil servants and public office holders on the danger of not declaring their assets adequately. Mohammed also said Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government should appoint a desk officer that would continually abreast other staff of the need to update their assets with the bureau.
“It is elementary to state that public servants have the mandate to renew their CCB asset declaration form at four years interval.
“Let me also tell you here that new appointees and employees of government are respectively mandated to declare their assets after joining the service.
On the need to re-position the bureau, Mohammed said efforts were on to address all the challenges that had affected the smooth operation of the body. “We are seriously working hard to take care of the welfare of our officers as little or nothing can be achieved without their full commitment.