THE Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project says it is giving the Code of Conduct Bureau only 14 days to commence the probe of Nigeria’s past and serving public officials indicted in the PanamaPapers scam.
The group, which decried the extent to which Nigerian public officials had gone in breaching the code of conduct by going to conceal stolen wealth in offshore jurisdictions, said it would sue the CCB if a probe of those indicted in the PanamaPapers did not start in 14 days.
In a statement on Sunday by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, SERAP said it was important for the CCB to leverage on the revelations in the PanamaPapers in demonstration of its readiness to combat the abuse of asset declaration requirements by Nigerian public officials.
It said unless the CCB probed and prosecuted the high-ranking public officers indicted in the PanamaPapers, it would lose public credibility.
It urged the CCB chairman, Mr. Sam Samba, to “use your good offices and leadership to urgently investigate current and immediate-past high-ranking public officers named in the PanamaPapers and others that are maintaining and operating or have maintained and operated foreign accounts in other safe havens and secrecy jurisdictions, and to where appropriate, refer such officers to the Code of Conduct Tribunal for prosecution.”
The statement added, “We would be grateful if the bureau could begin to take these steps within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter.
“If we have not heard from you by then as to the steps the bureau is taking to address the concerns raised in this letter, the Registered Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel the bureau to effectively discharge its constitutional and statutory mandates in this instance.
“SERAP also believes that bodies like the Code of Conduct Bureau should now seize the opportunity and use its mandate to react to this international scandal by taking concrete and proactive steps to address increasing breaches of constitutional provisions by high-ranking public officers.
“This action will be entirely consistent with the Nigerian 1999 Constitution (as amended), the law establishing the bureau, and will meet demands by Nigerians for improvement in transparency regarding asset declaration and sanctions of public officers for breaches.”