Delta APC blasts Okowa over reluctance to declare assets

Posted by Osteen Oyibode, Asaba | 11 September 2015 | 3,148 times

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The All Progressive Congress (APC) in Delta State, Thursday, berated the Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, over his reluctance to declare his assets as recommended by the Constitution of Nigeria and done by the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari and other governors.

In a statement made available to journalists in Asaba, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, the governorship candidate of the party and currently challenging the electoral victory of Okowa in the tribunal, said it was shocking for the governor not to be willing to make public his assets as his counterparts in other states had done.

Emerhor said it was a constitutional provision for all public office holders to declare their assets, prior to taking oath of office and at the expiration of office as public officers in government.

He said though the governor declared his willingness to fight corruption during his swearing in ceremony, it was shocking that he was making a U-turn, even though he warned public servants to be prudent in managing funds while zero tolerance war against corruption would be implemented to the letter.

He described the action as showing early signs of looting the treasury of the state, saying his action was a flagrant violation of the provisions of the Nigerian constitution.

The statement signed by Dr. Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe, the Political Communications Manager of Otega Campaign Organisation, said it was laughable that the promoter of the policy in the state had decided to opt out of the anti-corruption war at the beginning of his administration.

He posited that as governor of the state, it is important for him to declare his assets and be a good example to other public office holders in the state.

Emerhor alleged that the wealth of Governor Okowa would expose his large appetite for corruption which he has been exploring since 1999 when he was brought into governance by the defunct administration of former Governor James Ibori, who is currently cooling off in London prison.

But Chief Press Secretary to Governor Okowa, Charles Aniagwu, said declaration of assets was not backed by law, but added that the governor did not object to declaring his assets, but that he was more committed to good governance as against declaration of assets.

According to him, “those clamouring for the governor to declare his assets, have they declared their own. Asset declaration is not backed by law, if they want it backed by law, they should go and amend the law. But I need to tell you that the governor has declared his assets, go to Code of Conduct Bureau and verify.”

However, when contacted, Delta State Coordinator of Code of Conduct Bureau, Tony Onyeibe, rather took an elusive response to the request for confirmation of whether the governor had declared his assets or not.

He said: “It is a constitutional provision for every public officer to declare his assets. He was sworn in by a judge. The judge knew the law. But those clamouring for him to declare his assets should go to court.”

Onyeibe had severally said the Code of Conduct Tribunal had power to apply the relevant laws to unseat any public official who fails to declare his asset before being sworn into public office.

•Photo shows Delta APC guber candidate, O’tega Emerhor.

Source: News Express

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