SERAP Urges Tinubu, Shettima to Declare Assets

Udora Orizu in Abuja

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kassim Shettima to start with a clean slate by promptly making public details of their assets, income, investments, liabilities, and interests as they assume office as president and vice president respectively today.
SERAP also urged the duo to immediately prioritise the full and effective respect for human rights, media freedom, the rule of law and the country’s judiciary including by promptly obeying countless court judgments which the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has repeatedly treated with utter contempt and disdain.

In the open letter dated May 27, 2023, and signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation noted that the recent promise to ‘kill corruption.’

“However, this rhetoric is nothing new: the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari used similar hollow anticorruption phrase in 2015,” the statement added.
The letter, read in part, “Buhari’s broken promises to make specific details of his assets public and to ‘kill corruption’ have opened up the country’s political and electoral processes to a money free-for-all, discouraged political participation and contributed to impunity for corruption.

“Although President Buhari’s march to Aso Rock was predicated, in large part, on his campaign rhetoric to ‘kill corruption,’ corruption remains widespread among high-ranking public officials and in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

“Making public details of your assets, liabilities, and interests would reduce unjust enrichment of public officials, ensure integrity in public offices and promote transparency and accountability as well as good governance.
“Nigeria is very rich but its wealth is gravitating rapidly into the hands of a small portion of the population and the power of corrupt enrichment has continued to threaten to undermine the political integrity of the country.”

It added: “The tendency for politicians when trying to persuade Nigerians to vote for them is to conceal or hide traits that might make voters reluctant to vote them into power and to hide what they want to do with that power. But once voted into power, politicians become trustees of public wealth and resources and must remove the camouflage.”

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