Ikpeazu orders public office holders to declare their assets
Yolamchi Ukaga, Aba
Abia state governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has reminded public office holders in the state that it is not only proper but mandatory to declare their assets before they begin to function in their official capacities.
Ikpeazu, therefore, directed the secretary to the state government and relevant officers to ensure every public officer complied with the constitutional obligation for assets declaration.
The governor gave this directive, while receiving in audience the newly posted state director, Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), Abia state, Mr. Abel Sunday, who called on him at Government Lodge in Aba.
He stated that no public office holder would be sworn-in, unless there is evidence that such individual has declared his assets.
Ikpeazu reminded public office holders in the state that it was not only proper, but mandatory to declare their assets before they begin to function in their different positions.
The governor also implored the Code of Conduct Bureau to play the role of an enabler by finding ways of encouraging individuals to willingly declare their assets, through capacity building, seminars among others.
He stated that despite serving as a watchdog, the Code of Conduct Bureau should go about its duty with a friendly disposition in order not to scare people away, saying that he understood the important role of the bureau in holding public officers accountable.
According to him, if public officers continue to see the Code of Conduct Bureau as a stumbling block, they would always device means of evading assets declaration.
The governor, who said he was committed to ensuring that an enabling environment was provided for the CCB to operate in the state, congratulated the state director on his posting to Abia and enjoined him to see the state as his second home, having served as a youth corps member in Abia state several years ago.
Sunday explained that he came to pay homage to the state governor as the newly posted CCB boss and to seek his collaboration to fight corruption in the state and Nigeria at large.
He noted that while some public office holders in the state had declared their assets, others were yet to do so, stressing that the constitution enjoined them to declare their assets, before assuming office and afterwards.
He assured the governor of the commitment of his office to continue to cooperate with the state government in ensuring that public officers do the correct thing under the laws.
He informed public office holders that declaration of assets was a constitutional requirement, which must be complied with, assuring that his office would provide every necessary support to all public officers in this direction.
He also said that, in the appropriate circumstances, his office would enforce compliance with the law.