The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) has urged the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to investigate and prosecute Senator Andy Ubah, representing Anambra State South in the National Assembly, over his alleged mention in the global leak of files belonging to Mossack Fonseca, a law firm in Panama.
In a petition to the CCB chairman and signed by the coalition's chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, CSNAC said a report by an online newspaper, Premium Times, alleged that the senator owned 4,950 shares in an offshore shore company, Wentworth Properties Limited, in the Republic of Seychelles while holding public office. This violates a federal code of conduct law as spelt out in the Fifth Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
The files accessed by Premium Times and published on May 14, 2016 alleged that the company was incorporated in 2004 when Mr. Ubah was an aide to former President Obasanjo and that he held a majority share in the company till date.
According to the paper, "Andy Ubah's net worth was insignificant and almost peasantry before May 29, 1999 when Olusegun Obasanjo was sworn in as President. He later returned from his sojourn in the United States to be appointed a presidential aide.”
He is believed to have become suddenly rich, running for governor in 2007, and then for a senatorial position after his governorship election was annulled.
The online medium quoted Section 6(b) of the Code of Conduct Act that says a public office holder shall not, “except where he is not employed on full‐time basis, engage or participate in the management or running of any private business, profession or trade,” to back up its claims of constitutional violation by the lawmaker.
“He is also in breach of Section 2 of the Code of Conduct and Tribunal Act, an offense punishable under Section 23(2) of the Act and Paragraph 9, Part 1 of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers under the 5th Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which provides as follows:
“A public officer shall not do or direct to be done, in abuse of his office, any arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of any other person knowing that such act is unlawful or contrary to any government policy.”
Section Three (Part 1) of the Fifth Schedule of the Nigerian Constitution says, “The President, Vice-President, Governor, Deputy Governor, Ministers of the Government of the Federation and Commissioners of the Governments of the States, members of the National Assembly and of the Houses of Assembly of the States, and such other public officers or persons as the National Assembly may by law prescribe shall not maintain or operate a bank account in any country outside Nigeria.”
The group said the Code of Conduct Bureau, which is vested with the responsibility of prosecuting public officers found in violation of this law, has failed in its constitutional duty of investigating and prosecuting several of such matters.
“CSNAC is by this petition demanding the immediate investigation and prosecution of Senator Andy Ubah for these alleged violations of above stated provisions of the Constitution,” the petition reads.