President Muhammadu Buhari is under no compulsion by the law to declare his assets publicly, Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity has said.
The presidential spokesman who made the comment during a live channels TV session was responding to the demand of Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP which gave the president, vice president, 36 governors and their deputies a one week ultimatum to publicly declare their assets or be taken to court.
SERAP noted that the move has become imperative in view of the need to uphold transparent and accountable governance which is a major prerequisite of democratic governance
But, Adesina insisted that the decision to make the assets public is a matter of voluntary will and not a compulsion.
‘The President will do what the law requires of him and I can say for a fact that the President has declared his assets.’
‘Declaring that publicly is not in our law but voluntary, therefore he cannot be compelled to do so.
The FOI Act, however, establishes the right of anyone to request information in the custody of any public official, agency or institution, with the exception of security files which are not of public concern.
Asked if the President will oblige if the FOI Act was invoked, Mr Adesina further affirmed that making the President’s assets public will be based on the discretion of the Code of Conduct Bureau.
‘If FOI Act is invoked, it will be left with the Code of Conduct Bureau to release such information. The President has declared and already deposited the documents to them. So, it’s left to them to make such a decision’, he ended.
Both President Buhari and his Vice, Osinbajo made a public declaration at their first tenure in 2015.