SERAP Takes Buhari, Osinbajo to Appeal Court over Asset Declaration

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SWITZERLAND, JUNE 08 – Following the dismissal of its case by the Federal High Court in Lagos, Anti-corruption advocacy group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, has taken its asset declaration case against the President, Muhammadu Buhari, and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to the Court of Appeal.

The group is seeking an order of mandamus compelling the Code of Conduct Bureau to make public contents of the assets declaration forms filed by Buhari, Osinbajo, as well as the 36 state governors and their deputies.

SERAP had recently met a setback after the Federal High Court in Lagos threw out its suit.

But displeased with the judgment delivered by Justice Muslim Hassan, SERAP, according to a statement on Sunday by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oludare, has now gone on appeal.

The group is contending that Justice Hassan misinterpreted the law and “failed to consider that the Freedom of Information Act was enacted by the National Assembly in 2011 to grant public access to public documents.”

It said, “The learned trial judge erred in law by holding that the Freedom of Information Act is a legislation of general nature in relation to public access to asset declaration forms of public officers. The judge erred in law when he held that SERAP’s application ‘is unmeritorious and it is accordingly dismissed’.

“The learned trial judge failed to apply the provisions of Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, which allows access to public documents to the facts of this case.

“The failure or refusal by the CCB to provide the information requested by SERAP constitutes a violation of their right to freedom of information guaranteed by Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.”

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