Appeal Court dismisses lawsuits seeking release of asset declaration forms of Jonathan, Buhari and others

Separate appeals seeking an order to compel the Code of Conduct Bureau to release the asset declaration forms of former presidents, their vice and National Assembly principal officers, have been struck out by the Court of Appeal. 

Justice Okon Abang who also delivered the lead judgement, held that the lawsuits were immature. He noted that at the time the lawsuit was filed at the trial court, the National Assembly did not make any written instrument prescribing the terms and conditions that will guide any members of the public to either apply for the inspection of the assets form or disclosure of information in those forms in the custody of the respondent.

Abang said the appellants ought to have gone to court first, to compel the National Assembly to prescribe the terms and conditions for members of the public to comply with, before approaching the Code of Conduct Bureau, to disclose personal information relating to the declaration of assets by former officeholders.

He held that the provisions of the Freedom of Information relied on by the appellants were not in agreement with the provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended.

He further awarded the sum of two hundred thousand naira each as costs against the appellants.

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