Thursday, August 09, 2007

Goodluck reveals his assets

The VP finally caves into pressure to reveal his assets. Will the Governors now do the same, so we can have a before and an after? See the story below from today's Guardian Nigeria.

Jonathan publishes assets, worth N295m
From Madu Onuorah, Abuja
VICE President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday succumbed to public demand that he release the details of the assets he declared before the Code of Conduct Bureau. In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, the Vice President put his total assets at N295, 304, 420.

On June 28, 2007, President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua published details of his assets, which he put at N856.64 million.

Details of the assets, which Jonathan declared on May 30, 2007 before Justice Muktar N. Dodo of the Abuja High Court, show that the Vice President has no foreign account or assets.

Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President (Media and Communications), Mr. Ima Niboro, who released the details of the assets to journalists at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said in a press statement: "This merely shows that in the affairs of man, there comes a time when even the law must take a second place, and the public mood must define our actions."

Niboro added: "To the Vice President, this is such a time, hence the choice to send you a copy of his declaration for publication. There is nothing to hide, as you can very well see!"

A breakdown of the assets showed that the Vice President's private buildings are worth N67, 990,000. These include a four-bedroom duplex in Kpansia, Yenagoa, valued at N15 million, a four-flat storey extension of the family house in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, valued at N10 million and a four-flat storey building at Otuoke, Ogbia Local Council, which was bombed days before his inauguration as Vice President, valued at N18 million. There is also a five-bedroom personal residence in Gwarinpa, Abuja, worth N24.99 million.

Under the vehicles and household items, Jonathan declared a total assets of N41.8 million. They include a BMW car in Abuja valued at N15 million, generators, electronics, air conditioners, furniture, kitchen utensils and others in Kpansia, Yenagoa, Otuoke, and Gwarimpa costed at N26 million. The BMW was declared as a gift while the other items were said to be gift or procured from savings.

He also declared some vacant and undeveloped plots as worth N60.538 million. They include five undeveloped plots of land in Bayelsa State, two undeveloped plots of land in Cadastral Zone BO2 and AO6 in Abuja .

Jonathan listed N62, 072, 200 million as accruing from income yielding investments. This comprises investments in stocks managed by City-Code Trust and Investment Company Limited. He categorised them as 16 different stocks in Nigerian blue-chip companies.

The Vice President said that he has four 16-seater passengers' boats for hiring by companies and other agencies.

According to him, total cash in Nigerian banks (Bank PHB, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, UBA and others is N58.984 million. He stated that the total income includes personal savings and income from his investments, among them performing stocks and hiring of the boats.

Niboro said that the assets declared did not include those of Jonathan's wife, because "the wife of the Vice President is a public officer, being on the staff of the Bayelsa State Ministry of Education, Yenagoa."

"She could, on her own, being in service, declare her assets through laid-down procedures," he added.

Niboro added that Jonathan's children, being under the mandatory age of 18, do not own assets.

Noting the controversy that Jonathan's reluctance at releasing the assets had caused, Niboro said: "There is no question that the issue of the publication of the Vice President's assets declaration has been the source of vigorous debate in the mass media in the past week or so. There have been strong opinions on both sides of this emerging, if unnecessary, divide."

He added: "His Excellency, the Vice President, is a firm believer in the rule of law, and this has guided his conduct in public office through the years. It is this belief that also guided his position that having fulfilled the requirements of the law by declaring his assets for a total of seven times, there was no point in going further to publish the declaration."

The Vice President's aide regretted that "this position has generated an unfortunate storm, which is not only distractive but also quite unnecessary. We are worried that some newspapers and citizens we hold in high esteem have joined the fray. To the Vice President, this is such a time, hence the choice to send you a copy of his declaration for publication. There is nothing to hide, as you can very well see."

Jonathan's failure to release the details of his assets had generated a storm particularly because President Yar'Adua had set the standard by making his own public.

The public, which had lauded the President's action, had expressed concern that the moral high ground on which the government could proceed with its avowed anti-graft war would be undermined if the Vice President did not follow suit.

The Code of Conduct Act, which prescribes the declaration of assets for public officers, is silent on whether the document should be made public or not, therefore leaving it at the discretion of the affected persons.

Jonathan, had in the defence of his decision not to make the assets public, cited the bombing of his country home in Yenagoa shortly before he took office as a strong disincentive.

He also challenged key officials of the opposition party, the Action Congress (AC), which had been at the forefront of the campaign, to also make public their assets.

Jonathan particularly threw the challenge at the current Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, his predecessor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and AC's national spokesman, Lai Mohammed.

None of them is yet to accede to the request.


Naija guru 10:57 pm  

N295mil as in $1mil, bia these people should stop taking us for fools o! wasnt it $1mil his wife's sister was caught trying to smuggle 2yrs ago, abi we don forget that one.
Abeg let us stop that nonsense, I'd love to see everything that is in his wife's name, his children, grandma, mama, sisters,

Cyber Caravan 9:44 am  

To me a more pertinent question is *how* he came to acquire these assets. What was his role in Alams' corrupt administration, and is he clean himself from the hell in the Delta zone.

Tunde 12:45 pm  

Guys, haven't you heard that softly softly catche monkey, he has declared his assets, thats the 1st step,
the 2nd step is to located assets not declared,
the 3rd to seize them

and the 4th prison

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