Orubebe Guilty Of False Declaration Of Assets, Says CCT

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has found Godsday Orubebe, former minister of Niger Delta affairs, guilty of false declaration of asset.

Danladi Umar, chairman of the tribunal, delivered the judgment convicting Orubebe of the offence.

However, he gave him a light sentence.

“I hereby seize, on behalf of the federal government, the property known as plot 2057,” he ruled.

“The prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt, and all evidence tendered are admitted.”

He held that Orubebe committed an offence for not declaring a piece of property in Abuja, which he claimed he had sold.

The federal government had filed a one-count charge of false declaration of asset against Orubebe.

The government claimed that he committed the offence while he was a public officer.

The former minister is better known for his outburst at the national collation centre of the 2015 presidential election, in an attempt to halt the declaration of results of the election.

TheCable

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N1bn Abuja House, N50m S-Class Maybach, $102k In US Bank, Assets Declaration Form Of Senator Andy Uba Revealed

By SaharaReporters

wning gaps have been discovered in the assets declaration form submitted by Senator Andy Uba to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB). According to the form presented on  June 3, 2015, and exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, Uba is the owner of N1billion home located at 49 TY Danjuma Street, Asokoro, Abuja. In the form, Uba claimed that the house was bought on November  15,  2006, through personal savings and a loan from the United Bank of Africa (UBA).

In the forms listing his assets as of May 30,  2015, he declared ownership of a six-bedroom duplex at 26, Mamman Nasir Street, Asokoro, Abuja, which he bought for N650million on  May Senator Andy Uba 2006. Money for the purchase of the property, according to Uba, came from the sale of a property and personal income.  The property, he also claimed at the time, yielded N25million in rent yearly. He owns another three-bedroom house at Edo Court, Gaduwa in Abuja. This, he informed the CCB, was purchased for N30million, which came through personal savings and a loan from UBA.

He claimed not own any undeveloped plot in Nigeria. Uba declared that, as at 30 May, 2015,  he had the sum of N18million in his salary account ( UBA 1015477102) domiciled at the National Assembly branch of the bank.

For cash in foreign banks, Senator Uba declared the sum of $102,000 as his bank balance in Wells Fargo Bank, San Francisco, USA. The account number is 5561399873.

Curiously, Uba claimed not to have any government securities, including premium bonds. He similarly claimed to own no shares, debentures and other securities in or outside Nigeria. In the column asking whether he owned a farm, orchard or ranch, Uba wrote : “I do not have any.”

Yet, a man without any declared investments at home or abroad, claimed to own a Maybach AZ, which he said he acquired in 2006 at the cost of N50million raised through personal savings/loan and the helping hands of friends and associates, including Alhaji Aliko Dangote.

Uba also declared a BMW75, bought through personal savings and loans. The car was purchased for N25million. Similarly declared was a Mercedes Benz GL 500, bought for N17million raised in the same fashion of personal savings/loans.

Also listed in the form is a 250 KVA power generating set bought at N12.5million, Italian leather furniture bought at N10million ( raised through personal income), beds and beddings costing N6.5million( bought with personal income).

Uba, who, for long, falsely claimed to hold a PhD, until he was exposed as a fraud by a news magazine, clearly lied in his assets declaration form. This was recently shown when his name came up in the Panama Papers Leaks as the owner of an offshore company; Wentworth Properties Limited registered in the Republic of Seychelles, an infamous tax haven. The company, which was conspicuous by its absence from his assets declaration form, was said to have been founded in 2004.

According to the Panama Papers Leaks, one Marta Edghill, “the president” and Viana Scott, “the secretary”, helped Uba set up the company, whose legal address was listed as Suite 13, First Floor, Oliaji Trade Centre, Francis Rachel Street, Victoria, Mahe, Republic of Seychelles. The address given, however, was that of Mossack Fonseca, the legal firm at the heart of the Panama Papers Leaks. This implies that Uba’s Wentworth Properties was an invention, as it has neither the characteristics of an office nor a structure.

The inaugural meeting of the board of the simulated company held on  November 3, 2004. According to leaked minutes of the meeting, the purported president and secretary resolved that Uba is issued 4,950 shares valued at $1 each. One Mrs. Sederica Vedelago has issued 50 shares with a value of $1 each. There is no evidence of any business done by the company, which remains in existence.

Uba, who a Special Assistant on Domestic Matters to former President Olusegun Obasanjo lived in the United States before 1999. He was said to have been indigent when he returned to serve Obasanjo, in whose kitchen cabinet he became a stupendously rich and influential figure. Abetted by Obasanjo, he ran for the Anambra State governorship in 2007 and was declared a winner. His days in the Anambra Government House, however, lasted 16 days. He was removed by a court, which ruled that an election should not have held in the state because the then incumbent governor, Mr. Peter Obi, had not completed his term.

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How Saraki’s Anticipatory Declaration Was Exposed – Witness

The first prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja, Mr. Michael Wetkas, insisted on Wednesday that Saraki made an anticipatory declaration of assets while he was the governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.

The subject of the alleged anticipatory asset declaration of asset in count 1 in the charges preferred against the Senate President is said to be  the property at 15, McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

While being corss-examined yesterday, Wetkas said his investigation team relied on information provided by the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Allienation of Federal Government Properties which sold off the property in question on behalf of the Federal Government in 2006.

Wetkas said the presidential committee informed his team that it did not have on its record, 15 A and B, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, as declared by Saraki in his 2003 asset declaration form.

He said contrary to Saraki’s claim, the committee identified the property it sold as No.15, and Block 15, Flat 1 to 4, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Wetkas noted that, Saraki, on assuming office as Kwara State governor in 2003, declared that he acquired 15A and B, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos in 2000, whereas, the presidential committee wrote to his investigative team that it sold 15, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos to Saraki through his company, Tiny Tee Limited, in 2006.

“The only authority that we could refer to was the presidential committee or the Lagos State Land Registry or the Presidential Implementation Committee. The other letters referred to by them (Saraki’s lawyers) were by private individuals.

“We relied on the document from the Presidential Implementation Committee which said they only had 15, Mcdonald Road and Block 15, Flat 1 to 4, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, which was occupied by another lessee.

“We relied on the numbering of the properties by the presidential implementation committee and they stated that 15, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi was sold to Tiny-Tee. That was the strength of our conclusion,” the witness said.

Wetkas said he did not physically inspect the property at 15, 15A and B, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, but that other members of his investigative team did, and that they are in a better position to tell the tribunal what they found.

On why he did not personally visit Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, Wetkas said he needed not to because the letter from the Presidential Implementation Committee to his team had clarified issues on the existence or otherwise of the property.

“There was no need for me to ask the implementation committee to take me to the properties. The letter clarified that there were only two properties as 15 and Block 15, Flats 1 to 4,” the witness said.

Wetkas confirmed that the asset at 15, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, was at various times offered to a company, Energy Marine Resources and occupant of the house, Mr. Virtus Nwosu.

The witness also confirmed that it was eventually sold to Saraki’s company.

Usoro confronted Wetkas with documents on the property which were obtained from the presidential committee and tendered as exhibits, to fault the prosecution’s case.

The lawyer said the property described as 15 A and B, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, in Saraki’s asset declaration form of assumption of office in 2003, was not the same as the one described as 15, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, by the presidential committee.

Usoro noted that the property as described by the presidential committee was also not the same described by Saraki in his asset declaration form of July 11, 2007, made after the Senate President ended his first term in office as governor.

Saraki’s asset declaration form which he submitted on assumption of office in 2003 (Exhibit 3), did not give a picture of the property he claimed to have on 15A and B, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, but the form he submitted on July 11, 2007 after he completed his first term as governor described 15A as a five-bedroom house and 15B as an undeveloped plot.

A different document, identified by Usoro as Exhibit 14 – a report of the EFCC on Saraki’s assets in 2006 – provided a different description of the property.

On the request by Usoro, Wetkas read from the document, to the effect that the property identified as 15A and B Mcdonald, Ikoyi were verified. “While the property at 15A is a big one, painted and fenced, the other one at 15 is unpainted and lacks character, although it is also fenced. The properties are residential and belong to the declarant (Saraki).”

In yet a different document, which Usoro again, asked Wetkas to read, 15 Mcdonald, was described as a four-bedroom house.

Wetkas confirmed that none of those descriptions fitted in with the description of 15 A and B Mcdnald in Exhibit 3, which was the end of tenure asset declaration form made by Saraki in 2007

He insisted “they are not the same but that is immaterial to me. My understanding is that when you buy a property you can expand it.”

Usoro disagreed, insisting that 15B described as an undeveloped plot in Exhibit 3 could never have been such property that was later expanded after it was purchased.

Further hearing has been fixed for May 17.

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False Assets Declaration: Saraki Again Appeals CCT Ruling

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has asked the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal to order stay proceedings of his trial on charges of false and anticipatory asset declaration before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

Saraki filed the motion for stay of proceedings along with his nine-ground notice of appeal on Monday to stop his trial which begins at the CCT on Tuesday (today).

The notice of appeal was filed to challenge the ruling of the CCT which, on March 24, 2016, dismissed the Senate President’s application, challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the charges against him.

The two-man panel of the CCT, led by Mr. Danladi Umar, had, after dismissing Saraki’s application on March 24, fixed April 5 (today) for the commencement of trial.

But the plan may be stalled by the fresh move initiated by the accused on the eve of the day his trial is scheduled to start.

Our correspondent confirmed on Monday night that both the notice of appeal and the motion for stay of proceedings were served on the tribunal and the prosecution on Monday.

Saraki’s application was argued by a consortium of about 80 lawyers, led by a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN).

His earlier appeal, aimed at ending his trial, was terminated by a judgment of the Supreme Court on February 5, 2016, which ordered him to submit himself for trial.

The fresh appeal is challenging the CCT’s ruling, which had resolved all the issues raised by the Senate President against him and affirmed that it had jurisdiction to hear the case.

The Federal Government is prosecuting Saraki on 13 counts of false and anticipatory asset declaration, which he allegedly made in his four forms which he submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau at the beginning and end of his first and second terms as the Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.

Umar, who read the ruling of the CCT dismissing Saraki’s application challenging his trial, had directed the prosecution to open its case.

In its ruling, the tribunal ruled that contrary to Saraki’s contention, the AGF was competent to institute charges before the CCT.

It ruled that Saraki’s contention that he was being illegally prosecuted for offences allegedly committed about 13 years ago was out of place.

The CCT chairman agreed with the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), that the argument by Saraki that there must be an official complaint against him within a reasonable time of his submitting the declaration, was baseless.

The tribunal chairman held that there could be no clearance by implication unless it was expressly stated by the statute, noting that time never could never run against the state.

“It is not out of place to charge the accused person now and ask him to answer to the charges against him as there is no statute of limitation in relation to his case,” Umar said.

The tribunal also faulted Saraki’s reliance on its (CCT’s) earlier ruling, dismissing the charges against a former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu.

Saraki had argued that under Section 3(d) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act,  the CCB ought to have confronted him with the alleged infractions in his asset declaration forms before charges were instituted against him.

The Senate President is being prosecuted by the Federal Government for the alleged breaches in the four forms which he submitted to the CCB as Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.

He contended in his motion that the CCB’s failure to confront him with the alleged infractions had rendered the charges incompetent.

The CCT held that it had since realised that the ruling discharging Tinubu on the same grounds was made in error.

It ruled, “The accused persons relied on the decision of this tribunal in Federal Republic of Nigerian v. Bola Tinubu that was delivered on November 30, 2011. That decision was givenper incuriam (given without following principles of law).”

He held that the provision of Paragraph 3(e) of Part I of the 3rd Schedule to the 1999 Constitution had removed and omitted the proviso relied on by the Senate President.

“That proviso that is repeated in Section 3(d) of the CCB/T Act cannot be sustained any longer under the 1999 Constitution. The decision in Tinubu’s case was given per incuriam and the tribunal should not follow such a decision,” he said.

The tribunal chairman dismissed Saraki’s claim that he was denied fair hearing because he was not invited to make a written statement before the charges against him were filed.

He held that the argument was premature and could be raised during the hearing of the substantive case.

“The motion by the defendant to quash the charge against him is refused. In the final analysis, the tribunal assumes jurisdiction in this case. The prosecution is to invite its witness,” Umar ruled.

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Assets Declaration: Suswan, Imoke, Four Others To Face Trial …One Ex-gov Flees Abroad

The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Mr. Danladi Umar, has signed the warrant for the arraignment of six former governors for falsifying their assets declaration forms.

The six former governors, according to investigation conducted by our correspondent, include ex-Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam, and his Cross River State counterpart, Liyel Imoke.

The identities of the four others could not be ascertained at press time.

Also to face trial is a retired permanent secretary for abuse of office while a former governor from the North East is beleived to have gone on exile barely a week after the conclusion of paperworks for his trial.

Investigation revealed that the the trial of the ex-public office holders will start any moment from now.

A source who spoke in confidence said: “The next batch for trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal includes six ex-governors and a retired permanent secretary. The former governors are from the North-Central, North-West, South-South and North-East.

“All these ex-governors will be formally notified of their pending trial next week. Some of them have got wind of it and were already scouting for the charges.

“In fact, security reports indicated that the ex-governor from the North-East got wind of his likely arraignment before the CCT and chose to go on self-exile.

“When all is set for his trial and he fails to show up, a bench warrant will be issued for his arrest and the International Police (INTERPOL) will be mandated to fish him out.”

At press time, there were findings that more than 15 former governors under-declared their assets in gross violation of their oaths of office.

“Most of these governors preferred to hide their assets but, unknown to them, their aides or aggrieved members of their cabinets or parties and short-changed business partners used to expose them,” a source in the Code of Conduct Bureau said.

The constitution says: “Subject to the provision of this Constitution, every public officer shall within three months after the coming into force of this Code of Conduct or immediately after taking office and thereafter (a) at the end of every four years; and (b) at the end of his term of office, submit to the Code of Conduct Bureau a written declaration of all his properties, assets, and liabilities and those of his unmarried children under the age of 18 years.

“The Bureau shall have power to receive declaration by public officers made under paragraph 12 of part 1 of the Fifth Schedule to this Constitution.

“Examine the declarations in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct or any law.

“Retain custody of such declarations and make them available for inspection by any citizen of Nigeria on such terms and conditions as the National Assembly may prescribe.

“Ensure compliance with and, where appropriate, enforce the provisions of the Code of Conduct or any law relating thereto.

“Any statement in such declaration that is found to be false by any authority or person authorized in that behalf to verify it shall be deemed to be a breach of this Code.

“Any property or assets acquired by a public officer after any declaration required under this Constitution and which is not fairly attributable to income, gift, or loan approved by this Code shall be deemed to have been acquired in breach of this Code unless the contrary is proved.”

“Receive complaints about non-compliance with or breach of the Provisions of the Code of Conduct or any law in relation thereto. Investigate the complaint and, where appropriate, refer such matters to the Code of Conduct Tribunal.”

But disturbed by the legal issue surrounding the constitution of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, President Muhammadu Buhari has initiated moves to put in place a full panel.

There are only two members in the tribunal instead of three recommended by 1999 Constitution.

The one-judge vacuum has made some of those arraigned to seek redress at the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court on the ground that the tribunal was not fully constituted for a proper trial.

Three nominees have been recommended out of which the President will appoint one as a member of CCT. This will put paid to any complaint about the constitution of the tribunal.

“The three nominees are undergoing security checks after which the President will appoint one of them, “ a government source said last night.

Section 15 of Part 1 of the Fifth Schedule to 1999 Constitution says: “There shall be established a tribunal to be known as Code of Conduct Tribunal which shall consist of a chairman and two other persons.

“The chairman shall be a person who has held or is qualified to hold office as a judge of a superior court of record in Nigeria and shall receive remuneration as may be prescribed by law.

“The chairman and members of the Code of Conduct Tribunal shall be appointed by the President in accordance with the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

“The National Assembly may by law confer on the Code of Conduct Tribunal such additional powers as may appear to it to be necessary to enable it more effectively to discharge the functions conferred on it in this schedule.”

– The Nation

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Orubebe To Face Code Of Conduct Tribunal Over N70million Bribe, False Declaration Of Assets

The former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, will be arraigned before a Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on November 9th for false declaration of assets and taking a N70 million bribe.

Mr. Orubebe gained international attention during Nigeria’s presidential elections when he interrupted the collation of votes in Abuja by the Independent National Election Commission. As he disrupted the collation proceedings, he delivered an unsolicited tirade against INEC and its chairman Attahiru Jega.

He is now facing four counts of false declaration of assets, the solicitation of a bribe, and the acceptance of a bribe.  The charges allege that on two separate occasions Mr. Orubebe provided fabricated records of his financial assets to the authorities, despite being legally required to provide an accurate declaration of assets.

In addition, he is charged with the solicitation of a bribe from a Dr. Jonathan Alota as repayment for the awarding of a contract to Dr. Alota’s company Chemtronics Nigeria.  Mr. Orubebe then allegedly accepted a payment of N20 million from Dr. Alota.

The CCT served a summons to Mr. Orubebe on October 29, and scheduled his arraignment for November, 9th.

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APC Condemns PDP’s Declaration Of War Against The Nigerian Judiciary

The Rivers State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, has expressed shock over how the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] has launched out on large-scale smear campaign on the Nigerian judiciary following the recent court pronouncements that appear not to favour the PDP and their candidates at the various election petition tribunals especially the Akwa Ibom State and Rivers State governorship election petition tribunals.

“In what is unfolding as an all out war, the PDP National Working Committee [NWC], National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh and the various chapters of the PDP in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States, have already thrown every caution in the rule book to the wind in the way they are casting aspersions on the integrity of respected members of the bench whose only offence is that their meticulous and balanced judgments have exposed PDP’s fraudulent and violent escapades during the 2015 general elections”, Mr Chris Finebone, the Rivers State APC spokesman said in press statement today.

The APC said it is worried that a particular media outlet, the African Independent Television [AIT], owned and operated by a PDP Chieftain, has offered itself as the foremost platform for the PDP to execute its insidious smear campaign against the Nigerian judiciary.

The APC recalled that prior to last week, the APC have had a number of rulings go against the party and its candidates at the various national assembly election petition tribunals especially for Rivers State where over 90 percent of the rulings favoured the PDP and its candidates. Neither the APC National Working Committee [NWC] nor the various affected state chapters of the party came out to impugn the integrity of our judiciary. The APC took those outcomes with equanimity and proceeded on appeal in most cases without declaring and levying war on the judiciary the way the PDP is doing now.

Continuing the party said: “Particularly, the PDP and their members in Rivers State, including even lawyers, have since Saturday launched various bitter tirades against the character and integrity of the Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal members. Some have openly tried to establish family and marital relationship between the tribunal chairman and some top government officials, knowing same to be false, mendacious and malicious. The APC is still stunned that the Spokesman of the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Opunabo Inko-Tariah would state that, “The tribunal has delivered the ruling it was asked to deliver.” The APC condemns this kind of unguarded vituperation by a government official against a tribunal of eminent judges.”

“In summary, the APC understands that by turning to destroy the Nigerian judiciary, the PDP is only employing its usual tactics of intimidation and blackmail whenever their members find themselves at the wrong end of the law, whether over corruption cases or electoral matters as is the present case. This motive common with bandits and buccaneers have proven to fail the PDP in the past and will surely fail them this time around” the statement concluded.

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90 Per cent Of Politicians Guilty Of False Assets Declaration – Okunrounmu

Chairman of the 2014 national conference convocation committee, Femi Okunrounmu, has said that more than 90 per cent of politicians in the country are guilty of false declaration of assets.

Apparently referring to the ongoing trial of Senate Presidetn Bukola Saraki by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Okunrounmu, who spoke in Lagos Saturday at a ceremony held in commemoration of the 80th birthday of the founder of the O’dua Peoples Congress (OPC), Frederick Fasehun, said if anybody had done anything against the law or constitution, the person should be called to account.

He said the fight against corruption should not be selective. “Ninety per cent of politicians declare assets falsely, so the law should go after all the people that are guilty of such false declaration of assets, try them and bring them to justice,” he said.

“It should cover all the people who are guilty, not just target a few individuals. They shouldn’t just target one or two people.”

On the national confab, Okunrounmu alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) had always opposed it. “May be, the constitution is favourable to some parts of the north; many northern APC leaders have always opposed a national confab,” he said.

“May be, one can understand why they oppose a confab, but those who know how the current constitution came to being know that it was fashioned by successive military rulers, mostly from the north.”

He said that the southern wing of the APC, led by Bola Tinubu, had always agitated for a national conference, but were opposed to the 2014 confab “for political reasons”.

On the delay in cabinet formation by President Muhammadu Buhari, he said there was no provision for the president to administer Nigeria without a cabinet.

“Even though there is no specification on the number of days within which he must send the names of ministers, any governance without ministers is governance as sole administrator which is not provided for in the constitution,” he said.

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Dollars, Pounds, Euros… Alleged Details Of Saraki’s Assets Declaration Exposed [Documents]

While Senate President Bukola Saraki continues his battle with the Code of Conduct Tribunal for failing to appear before it on Friday, leading subsequently to an order to have him arrested, details of the assets the senate president declared in 2012 has leaked to the public.

According to the detials, the total wealth in cash and other assets, that Saraki decided to declare in his assets declaration forms was 2.607 billion naira (2,607,110,550 naira), 23.7 million US dollars (23,783,333), 7.4 million Pounds Sterling (7,406,500 Pounds Sterling), and 2.6 million Euros (2,600,000 Euros).

As at 2003 when he became governor of Kwara State, the senate presidents wealth according to the declaration he made was 10.2 billion naira (10,209,270,295 naira).

The assets declaration forms revealed that Mr. Saraki and his companies had stockholdings worth 2,145,550 naira, 2,600,00 Euros, and 6,108,33 US dollars.

The documents also reveal that Mr. Saraki’s wife, Toyin, and their two children, owned assets that were inexplicable and highly suspicious. The forms showed that the assets held by Mrs. Saraki and the senator’s two children included cash, property, and stock holdings valued at more than N8 million, 4.5 million pounds sterling, and $4.6 million.

Here is the breakdown of his properties worth N120 million and $224 million in incomes as annual rent from his landed properties in Nigeria and London.

BUKOLA SARAKI’S ASSETS as at 10 October 2012

Plot 212 Musa Yar’Adua Street, Victoria Island, N700 million.

Others are a plot of land on Lekki Phase (block 72), N7 million;

Ibafo near Ajah, N5 million;

Buildings on number 42 Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, N750 million;

19 Roxton Road, Ikoyi, N500 million;

62 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, N100 million;

15A & B MacDonald, Ikoyi, N160 million

6 Vulga Street, Maitama, Abuja, N60 million.

HIS LANDED PROPERTIES

123A, Ashley Gardens, Thirleby Road, London, valued at $750,000. (N120 Million Naira)

56 Cheyne Court, SW 3, London, $900,000; (N144 Million Naira)

54 Ashley Gardens, Ambrasden Avenue, London, $2.5 million; (N400 Million Naira)

141 Ashley Gardens, Thirleby Road, London, $600,000; (N96 Million Naira)

Nell Gwynn House, Sleave Avenue, London, $400,000; (N64 Million Naira)

Ormond House, Ormond Street, S/London, $400,000; (N64 Million Naira)

53 Ashley Gardens, Ambrasden Avenue, London, $2.5 million, (N400 Million Naira)

70 Bourne Street, S/W London, valued at $4.8 million. (N768 Million Naira)

HIS MOVABLE PROPERTIES

Mercedes S320, N16 million;

Mercedes S500, N20 million;

Mercedes G500, N18 million;

Mercedes V220, N6 million

Mercedes 300E, N2 million.

Mercedes ML 240, N8.5 million;

Mercedes CLK 320, N9 million;

Mercedes E320, N11 million;

Mercedes G500 bullet-proof, N45 million

Mercedes S500 bullet-proof, N30 million.

Ferrari 456 GT N25 million;

Navigator, N15 million;

Peugeot 406, N2 million,

Lexus Jeep bullet-proof, N30 million

Lincoln Navigator bullet-proof, N25 million.

HIS CASH DEPOSITS IN DIFFERENT BANK ACCOUNTS

NIGERIA

Societe Generale; N11 million

Ecobank, Broad Street, Lagos, N350, 000;

Citizens Bank, Broad Street, Lagos, N390, 000;

Citizens Bank, Broad Street, Lagos, N600,000;

Ecobank Nigeria plc, Broad Street, N10.3 million,

Guaranty Trust Bank, Adeyemo Alakija Street, Lagos, N2.9 million.

Societe Generale Bank, Oke Arin Street, Lagos, N23 million

Guaranty Trust Bank, Adeyemo Alakija Street, Lagos.

FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNTS

Coutts & C, 440 Strand, London, £905,000; (N235.3 Million Naira)

Northern Trust International Banking Corporation, Merrillynch Piece Fender, $400,000 (N64

Million Naira)

Fortis Bank, Camoile Street, London, £2 million. (N520 Million Naira)

HIS FOUR CHILDREN

His four children Tosin, Seni, Teniola and Teniayo, are worth N741.89 million in cash,

HIS WIFE

Toyin Saraki, had a net asset of N1.49 billion as at 29 May 2003.

Untitled

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False Assets Declaration: Saraki Fails To Stop Trial By CCB

Senate President Bukola Saraki failed yesterday to stop his arraignment today before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja

In an ex parte application filed by his counsel, Mahmud Magaji (SAN), Saraki asked the court to halt his prosecution by the CCB.

But the court refused his prayer, but instead ruled that the respondents  (CBB, Code of Conduct Tribunal and the ministry of justice)  appear before it next Monday week to show cause why the case should not be dismissed.

“An order is hereby made directing the respondents to appear before this court on Monday, September 21, 2015 and show cause why the interim orders of injunction being sought by the plaintiff/applicant should not be made by the court,” a copy of the court order reads.

It further added that “all the respondents should be served with the originating summons filed in this suit, it’s accompanying affidavit, the motion on notice for interlocutory orders of injunction, the motion exparte for interim orders of injunction, the affidavit of urgency all the exhibits attached to the various affidavits filed.”

“Hearing notices shall also be issued on all the respondent?. The return date for the respondents to appear and show cause shall be the 21st of September. These orders are made pursuant to the provisions of order 26 rules 10 and 13 of the federal high court (Civil procedure) rules, 2009.”

Saraki was to be arraigned before the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Friday.

He is accused of failing to declare some assets he acquired while in office as governor; acquiring assets beyond his legitimate earnings and operating foreign accounts while being a public officer – governor and senator.

The Senate President is, in the charge endorsed by a Deputy Director at the FMJ, Muslim Hassan, said to have, by the offences, breached Section 2 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.

The CCT, on Wednesday, fixed today for Saraki’s arraignment. But, in an effort to prevent the CCT from proceeding with its business, Saraki raced to the Federal High Court, Abuja with the ex-parteapplication.

Saraki urged the court to restrain  the Federal Ministry of Justice, CCB, CCT and Mr. Hassan, who signed the charge, from taking any further step to arraign or prefer any charge against him, pending the hearing and determination of the suit he filed along with the ex-parte motion.

 

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President Buhari: When Public Declaration Of Asset Falls Short By Chido Onumah

Nigerians waited for so long to get the public declaration of assets of President Muhammadu Buhari and when it came two weeks ago via a press statement by Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity, it left much to be desired.

If President Buhari made a false start by not declaring his assets publicly the day he was sworn in on May 29, 2015, he double-faulted with his “public” declaration two weeks ago. For a regime that came to power promoting probity and accountability, I think President Buhari and his handlers did a disservice to open government.

The statement by the presidency on the assets of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, as declared to the Code of Conduct Bureau, was long on sophistry and short on details; what it revealed was interesting, what it failed to say essential. According to Garba Shehu, “Documents submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), show that the retired General has indeed been living an austere and Spartan lifestyle, contrary to what many might expect of a former Head of State of Nigeria and one who has held a number of top government positions, such as governor, Minister of petroleum and the head of the Petroleum Development Trust Fund (PTDF).

“The documents submitted to the CCB, which officials say are still being vetted and will soon be made public, show that prior to being sworn in on May 29, President Buhari had less than N30 million to his name. He also had only one bank account, with the Union Bank. President Buhari had no foreign account, no factory and no enterprises. He also had no registered company and no oil wells. President Buhari declared however that he had shares in Berger Paints, Union Bank and Skye Bank. This is entirely unlike what one might expect from a former head of state of a country like Nigeria.

“The documents also revealed that President Buhari had a total of five homes, and two mud houses in Daura. He had two homes in Kaduna, one each in Kano, Daura and in Abuja. One of the mud houses in Daura was inherited from his late older sister, another from his late father. He borrowed money from the old Barclays Bank to build two of his homes. President Buhari also has two undeveloped plots of land, one in Kano and the other in Port Harcourt. He is still trying to trace the location of the Port Harcourt land.

“In addition to the homes in Daura, he has farms, an orchard and a ranch. The total number of his holdings in the farm includes 270 heads of cattle, 25 sheep, five horses, a variety of birds and a number of economic trees. The documents also showed that the retired General uses a number of cars, two of which he bought from his savings and the others supplied to him by the federal government in his capacity as former Head of State. The rest were donated to him by well-wishers after his jeep was damaged in a Boko Haram bomb attack on his convoy in July 2014.

“As soon as the CCB is through with the process, the documents will be released to the Nigerian public and people can see for themselves,” Garba Shehu’s statement concluded.

I sympathize with Garba Shehu. For a man who promised so much and from whom much is expected President Buahri needed to be painted in the brightest of colours using his “modest” asset declaration. It does appear, however, that Garba Shehu wants his statement to be the end of discussion on this issue even though he says the asset will be made public “as soon as the CCB is through with the process.” And he may have succeeded. Or how else can one explain the hysteria that gripped not just the media, but civil society so-called, that was in the forefront of the quest for the president to honour his campaign promise?

Here are the matters arising from President Buhari’s “public” asset declaration debacle. If the president plans to go the whole nine yards, why tease us? We need to know the president’s liabilities, if any, the source of money, income from property, total value of his assets and those of his wife and children under 18 years, etc.

There is a danger in the Buhari model. As if taking a cue, less than 48 hours after he “publicly” declared his asset, the senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, also “publicly” declared his asset. Sani declared “two wives and six children, a bank balance of N22m, seven houses in Kaduna, Abuja, Niger and Katsina States, several vehicles, two uncompleted office apartments in Kaduna; N5m in shares bought in 2007, 30 books published in Nigeria, the United States and the United Kingdom with royalties; and a community journal titled Peace Magazine.”

Expectedly, the “Teflon Senate President,” Olusola Saraki, will soon make his asset “public” following the example of President Buhari.

It is understandable if President Buhari feels a bit irritated and wants to bully his way out of public asset declaration. But he should remember he brought this upon himself. Nobody forced him to commit, during his campaign, to declare his asset publicly. After all, we have seen distinguished and executive scoundrels across the country who have taken refuge in the law on this issue. It is their prerogative!

Last week, the president told journalists in Accra, Ghana, that he had declared his assets four times since 1975 and challenged journalists to investigate and dig up the records of his various declarations using the requisite law. “I have declared my assets and all that I have four times, and you (the media) have the right to go and demand for my declaration. Instead, I am being harassed,” the President Buhari was quoted as saying.

I hope President Buhari was not expecting Nigerians to clap in adulation for his quadruple asset declarations. The president was only doing what the law required of him as a public officer. If he occupies public office a 1000 times, he has to declare his assets 1000 times.

As a journalist, am more interested in the president invoking the notion of investigative journalism. For the sake of profession and country, this is one challenge the media should take seriously. For example, it would be interesting to see what President Buhari declared at various stages of his public service vis-à-vis his latest declaration and his job and income during the same period.

Of course, the issue is not as simple as President Buhari presented it. That is why this is as much about him as it is about institutions. We know full well that if we invoke all the laws of the country, including the Constitution and the Freedom of Information Act (FoI), the CCB will not act unless it understands the body language of the president.

I don’t think anybody is seeking to “lynch” President Buhari over his asset, but what is worth doing is worth doing well. If am not mistaken, when former President Umaru Yar’Adua declared his asset publicly on June 28, 2007, a month after he was sworn in, he presented his liabilities, the value of all his assets (including household furniture) and those of his wife as well as source of money.

We must appreciate the apprehension of Nigerians. Ours is a nation desirous of real heroes and heroines, one in which existential confidence is perhaps at an all-time low, in part because of the banditry of past rulers. During the reign of General Ibrahim Babangida, the joke was that if the dictator said “good morning” to you, you had to step out to confirm it was really morning. And former President Goodluck Jonathan was forthright enough to tell us that he did not “give a damn” about asset declaration, confirming what many – with apologies to Garba Shehu – expected of him as president of a country like Nigeria: the wholesale looting of the treasury!

conumah@hotmail.com; Follow me on Twitter @conumah

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False Assets Declaration: Saraki’s Trial Commences Friday

The trial of the senate president, Bukola Saraki over an allegation of false declaration of assets will begin on Friday in Abuja, report said.

Saraki will be facing a 13 count charge filed by the Code of Conduct Bureau among which include anticipatory declaration of assets, alleged acquisition of assets beyond his legitimate earnings and keeping foreign accounts while holding public office first as Kwara State governor in 2003 and later as a senator.

The senate president had yesterday sniggered at the charges when he told correspondents in Abuja that “most of them are frivolous and not true”.

He also said the allegation was a reflection of the saying that each time you fight corruption, the system will fight you.

Alhough the Senate initially said he has not been served any court process in that respect, his Senior Special Assistant Mr. Yusuf Olaniyonu, later confirmed that Saraki had been served notice of the charges.

“Yes. We have been served,” Olaniyonu said.

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