President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday made public details of their assets, which had been declared to the Code of Conduct Bureau.
According a statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President has about N30m in his only bank account with the Union Bank Plc, while the Vice President has a balance of N94m, $900,000 and 19,000 pounds in his bank accounts.
Shehu’s statement said the President had shares in Berger Paints, Skye Bank and Union Bank and a total of seven houses, comprising two mud and a standard house in Daura, his hometown; two homes in Kaduna, one in Kano and one in Abuja.
Also belonging to the President are two undeveloped plots of land in Kano and Port Harcourt. The President did not ascertain the location of the Port Harcourt land, according to the statement.
Buhari also has an orchard and a ranch in Daura with 270 heads of cattle, 25 sheep, five horses, a variety of birds and a number of economic trees in them.
But the statement did not disclose the worth of the landed property and other assets, which both the President and the Vice President had declared.
Shehu said the President had no oil well and foreign bank accounts.
Buhari was also said to have declared that he had several cars, two of which he said were bought with his savings and the others supplied to him by the Federal Government in his capacity as a 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,” the statement added.
For the Vice-President, Shehu said Osinbajo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, declared a four-bedroomed residence at Victoria Garden City in Lagos; three-bedroomed flat in Ikoyi, Lagos; two bedroomed flat at the Redempion Camp, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; and a two-bedroomed mortgage property in Bedford, England.
The vice president operates his Simmons Cooper Law firm, which is based in Lagos and has shares in MTN Nigeria, Octogenerium Ltd., Windsor Grant Ltd., Tarapolsa Vistorion Ltd., and Aviva Ltd., all of which are based in Lagos.
Osinbajo is also said to have one Infinity 4-Wheel Drive SUV, one Mercedes Benz and a Prado Jeep.
Shehu’s statement read in part, “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 N30m 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.
“The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) who had been a successful lawyer before his foray into politics declared a bank balance of about N94m and $900,000 in his bank accounts.
“President Buhari declared however that he had shares in Berger Paints, Union Bank and Skye Bank.
“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.’’
Reacting to the declaration of assets by Buhari and Osinbajo, a lawyer, Carol Ajie, said the documents had loopholes.
Ajie said Buhari and his deputy needed to “make clear if they have liabilities or not, bearing in mind that the Constitution places emphasis on assets and liabilities.”
The lawyer said, “We need a bit more on specificity on some of the items such as shares in Berger Paints, Union Bank and Skye Bank, considering the length of time between April when he won the election and now, a period of six months for assets valuation of his seven houses located in Daura, Kano, Kaduna and Abuja.
“We have no addresses on these houses and what type of houses-bungalow, block of flats or duplexes- and estate valuer’s estimates. Same for his farms, orchard and a ranch in Daura, etc.
Another legal practitioner, Mr. Kayode Ajulo, said the President had yet to complete the declaration “as it is the law that his spouse is not a civil servant; the spouse must declare her asset in the same manner as done by President Buhari.”
“The same goes for his Vice. As it is, there may be likelihood of violation of the law on declaration of assets,” he added.
President of the Nigerian Voters Assembly, Mashood Erubami, said the declaration signified leadership by example.
Erubami said, “This is leadership by example. The declaration will leave no one in doubt about the commitment of the Buhari/Osinbajo administration to govern transparently and be accountable to Nigerians before and after office. With the declaration of the President, nobody will be spared from not declaring his or her assets in accordance with the laws of the land.
“It is now left to the Code of Conduct Bureau to vet the declared assets in order to ensure that the assets are real and appropriately valued. The assets must not be overvalued, and must be vetted to have been fairly acquired with truly extended current market value. Declaration of assets is a precondition for selfless, transparent and accountable government, which must not be sparing and selective.”
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