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Appeal Court Delivers Judgement On Suit Seeking Assets Declaration By Jonathan, Buhari, Osinbajo, Others

Appeal court delivers judgement on suits seeking the release of asset declaration form of Jonathan, Buhar….

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Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari

Appeal court delivers judgement on suits seeking the release of asset declaration form of Jonathan, Buhari, Osinbajo, others.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday dismissed separate appeals seeking an order compelling the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to release the assets declaration forms of former presidents, their vice and National Assembly principal officers.

The Public and Private Development Centre and the Incorporated Trustees of the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy had, in a separate suit, dragged the CCB and its chairman before a Federal Capital Territory High Court for their refusal to honour a Freedom of Information Act demand for the assets declaration forms of former public office holders.

PPDC sought the asset declaration forms of former President Goodluck Jonathan and his Vice, Namadi Sambo, and ex-President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo, while the African Media Centre requested that former National Assembly principal officers.

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Punch reports that the trial judge, A. G. Abdu-Kafarati, dismissed the application, stating that the National Assembly did not prescribe the terms and conditions to apply.

Displeased with the court’s decision, the applicants approached the Court of Appeal for redress.

However, reading the lead judgment on Friday, Justice Okon Abang dismissed the appeal, adding that the suits were immature.

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Abang also held that the provisions of the FOI relied on by the appellants disagreed with the requirements of the 1999 constitution as amended.

“Contrary to the appellant’s submission, the applicability of the right to information established in the FOI is contiguous with the terms and conditions contained in Paragraph 3(c) part 1, third schedule of the 1999 constitution as amended, which is the supreme law of the land.

“The process cannot be circumvented. The appellant has no choice but to comply with what the Constitution states.

“The 1999 constitution as amended will nullify any provision of the FOI act that is inconsistent with the constitution,” he stated.

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