Assets declaration: Buratai discharged duty placed on him by 5th schedule —Solicitors

A group of solicitors, under the umbrella of St. Francis Xavier Solicitors and Advocates, based in Abuja, has stated that the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, having so declared the property as required of him by law, has discharged the duty placed on him by the fifth Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.

The solicitors, in a release signed by its principal, Osuagwu Ugochukwu, stated that by a letter dated June 29 2016, their law firm requested the Code of Conduct Bureau to clear the air over the said United Arab Emirates Property bought by General Buratai’s spouse, adding that the CCB responded to their inquiry.

“Without much delay, the CCB responded in her letter dated July 11, 2016 and stated clearly from the asset declarations filed by General Buratai that the said property was duly filed by the Army General and in the spouse’s name,” the release said.

According to them, “having so declared the property as required of him by law, the Chief of Army Staff has discharged the duty placed on him by the fifth Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act. The Chief of Army Staff never made any false declaration and the said property was not acquired after he became Chief of Army Staff to warrant the invocation of Section 15 (3) of the CCB Act.

“Section 15 Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act Cap C15, LFN 2010 provide that every public officer shall, within 15 months after the coming into force of this Act or immediately after taking office and thereafter (a) at the end of every four years; (b) at the end of his term of office; and (c) in the case of a serving officer, within 30 days of the receipt of the form from the Bureau or at such other intervals as the Bureau may specify, submit to the Bureau a written declaration in the form prescribed in the First Schedule to this Act or, in such form as the Bureau may, from time to time, specify, of all his properties, assets and liabilities and those of his spouse or unmarried children under the age of 21 years.”

They explained further that the Chief of Army Staff complied with Section 15(1) of the Act and included his spouse’s assets in his declarations as required by law, adding that he acted lawfully and has not breached any Law.

“We view the further attempt by some select few to still dwell on this same Dubai Property and criticise the COAS as a veiled attempt to divert his attention from the current war he is waging to secure the country in various troubled spots in Nigeria. Critics are, therefore, advised to respect the General’s  right to private family life as guaranteed under Section 34 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (As Amended) and construct their views within the ambit of the rule of law having been duly cleared by the CCB,” they concluded.