Another Good Reason Not to Impeach President Jonathan By Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo

Columnist: 
By Rudolph Okonkwo

President Jonathan has finally declared his assets. Hurrah! It is now time not to impeach him.

 
While you were sleeping, President Goodluck Jonathan declared his assets. We know this because on September 24th, the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) Dr. Sam Saba, speaking through Alhaji Ibrahim Manzo, the Federal Commissioner representing North West in the Bureau, brought the good news to the media. For those of you looking forward to knowing how many cars, cows, and condos the president owns, you are grossly misinformed. Saba reiterated that no law said that the President should declare his assets publicly.
 
There was something else that Dr. Saba said that should be of interest to all Nigerians. He said, “What is important is that he has declared his assets and when we go through his form and we discover any area that is questionable, then we will take him to court.” Nonsense! Take who to court? The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Iro! Impossibility! Who born this Saba? What kind of ogogoro does this man drink?
 
Now hold that thought. As of September 24th, the Code of Conduct Bureau is yet to go through President Jonathan’s form. It must be a long form covering oil blocks, liquefied gas concessions and credit default swaps, I guess. The real reason why the CCB had not gone through the president’s form was because the president just sent it to them.
 
Yes. The president did not declare his assets when the law required him to. The law required that he should have done so before he was sworn in for his full term as president. Chairman Saba knew about this law but did not cry out when he did not receive the president’s declaration of assets form in May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December of 2011. His CCB got nothing from January 2012 to August 2012. But Saba was quick to remind us that there is no law that requires the president to declare his assets publicly.
 
That, my friends, is the nature of the Nigerian state and the civil service officials who work for you. What gives you the confidence that a man who will not come out and complain that the president has not followed the law he was sworn in to protect will come out and pinpoint any questionable area in the president’s form? So if you don’t hear that the Code of Conduct Bureau is taking the president to court it means there is no area that is questionable.
 
Saba went on to assert that the Bureau he heads is doing its bit but the public is not. He accused the public of failing to blow the whistle on defaulters. Hold that. WTF!
 
Didn’t the public hound the President to declare his assets? Again and again, in columns after columns, Nigerians have been screaming. The president’s men, like Reuben Abati, came out to echo the line that the president has declared his assets and that he wasn’t required to make it public. All through those months, Saba did not come out to say that he has not gotten anything from the President. Now he is accusing the public of failing to blow the whistle. Imagine the audacity.
 
Oh, I forgot, Chairman Saba was speaking at a Compliance Training Workshop for Public Officers in Abuja. Just so you know there are things like that going on in your civil service.
 
In June of this year, in a SaharaTV interview, I asked President Jonathan’s spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, why the president had not declared his assets. Dr. Abati said, “You can’t be really sure about that. If the assets are declared, the president will not declare his asset on the pages of newspapers. The declaration of assets is done with the Code of Conduct Bureau.”
 
In October of 2011, the African Center for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) dragged the Code of Conduct Bureau to court for failing to release to the public the asset declaration of the president. AFRICMIL had in July of 2011 sent a Freedom of Information request “to be allowed to inspect and obtain copies of the 2007 asset declaration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; the asset declaration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan after the end of his tenure on May 28, 2011; and the current asset declaration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan when he assumed office on May 29, 2011.”
 
Paragraph 3, Part I of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, provides that the Code of Conduct Bureau shall have power to: (a) receive declarations by public officers made under paragraph 12 of Part I of the Fifth Schedule to this Constitution; (b) examine the declarations in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct or any law; (c) retain custody of such declarations and make them available for inspection by any citizen of Nigeria on such terms and conditions as the National Assembly may prescribe.
 
Just last month, Dr. Reuben Abati was again asked a similar question by nigeriavillagesquare.com. Here is the question and Abati’s answer.
 
Nigeriavillagesquare.com: Alright, Dr. Abati, let us talk about asset declaration. There was news recently that President Jonathan has declared his assets, but not publicly. Is that true?
 
Dr. Abati: “Well you are quoting the chairmen of the Code of Conduct Bureau. I think that was towards the end of September at a public function. Now the reason it has become important is that, at the last presidential media chat that we organized, this suddenly became the issue that everybody seized upon.
 
I think people must get the facts right; when President Jonathan said that he was not obliged to declare his assets publicly, he was stating a straightforward law of law and of fact. Three sections of the law deal with the issue of asset declaration. First, the first section of the Nigerian Constitution, which spells out the role of the conduct bureau. The code of conduct bureau is required to take stock of the declaration of assets, but it is not required to make that declaration public. Two, the Fifth Schedule in Section 11, Subsection 1, says that at the end of every four years, a public officer will declare his assets. He would do so at the beginning, do so at the end of every four years, and do so at the end of his term of office. And declare also that of his children who are not married and under the age of 18 years. The law is very specific.”
 
So what date was the end of President Jonathan’s last four years? What date was the beginning of his new four-year term? May 2011 or September 2012?
 
I know what many of our people will say: Ah! Now that he has declared his assets, we should be grateful. After all, what would anyone do if he had persistently refused to declare his assets? Exactly! That’s why we should not impeach him.
 
An Igbo proverb said that it is the day that a child spilled the broth that he should be caned not the day he spilled the palm oil.
 
Forget the Igbo and their convoluting proverbs. President Jonathan should be extolled and not punished. Not declaring his assets, as at when due, was not a blatant disregard of the law. Or was it? The delay was actually aimed at preventing greater infractions. In fact, a man who deliberately ignored a law that simply said declare your assets would not ignore the big ones that could potentially put him in jail. Or would he?
 
It is because Nigerians relent, lower expectations, and fail to see the big implications of what they consider little things that our political leaders take Nigerians for fools. If President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua found it prudent to demand that anyone who worked under him should publicly declare his or her assets, irrespective of what the fine letters of the law said, one would have expected President Goodluck Jonathan to follow suit because it was the best practice.
 
President Jonathan came to Abuja from Yenagoa with a cloud of corruption hanging on his head like a question mark. Any reasonable person would have thought that he would be the one to embrace transparency, accountability and openness. Thank goodness, they don’t make reasonable people anymore.
 
An aversion for best practices and an embrace of low expectations have continued to crush any hope of real advancement in Nigeria. Not that there was ever a search for a reason but the National Assembly now has another good reason not to impeach the president. We know that they will. As is always the case, it falls back on, we, the people. We must agitate. We must demand the kind of country we want. And if our condemnation, sorry commendation, of the president will be a catalyst for such a change, so be it.
 
But if you are waiting for Chairman Saba to take the president to court for discrepancies in his asset declaration, then I’ve got oil block OPL 419 for you to buy.
 

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Re: Home » Another Good Reason Not to Impeach President Jonatha

@Sword of Damocle

Hence I ignored the confused THINK2WICE in his response to my blog. Where does one start educating such confused soul ?

Irony is Delicious......

I was compelled to share my thoughts only after grasping the name of one of the bloggers: "Think 2wice" (LOL). Reasonable people are contemplating the serious question of whether some Nigerians have the cerebral capacity to THINK at all. The fact that the bootlicker(think2wice) had the hutzpah...the hubris to suggest that he/she has any cognitive capacity is a farce just like the pseudo-state that "Karma" made he/she a citizen of. The most compelling prose i have seen in a while is the blogger who called Nigeria, "DEVIL's OWN COUNTRY".

Deripapa, where you dey since

Where did this goathead hide since. Some people claimed you did not survive the last floods in Otuoke. Others said you stopped commenting because your 'allowances' were not forthcoming. Anyway, it's nice to have you back. Without your idiotic comments here, this site looks dull. Just asking, were adversely affected by the floods? Should you worry with the type of dirty job you do for dumbo-1.

@TundeMesh A MERCENARY??? 2

When the Declaration drama started,d problem 4most people ws his Non Public Declaration..I kept sayin we shld find out if @All he had even declared or not! I believe he had declared..DAT guy is NOT as Dumb as he pretends 2b or look sumtyms! It would b Impossible 4a Dumb guy 2become d ruler of dis country with all d intrigues involvd! Maybe Daft nd corrupt,BUT not dumb! Let's rather ask Him Quesns like d 1 on d Halliburton scandal during d 'media chat',nd u will see him stutter!
Education my broda is gud..But without Civility, Morality, Decency,Integrity, its ALL Gonna b CRAP!!

@TundeMesh A MERCENARY??? 1

'Prof Mesh', I hav followed yur comments nd those of others on this site..sum write well..sum write Trash..u happen 2b one of those who write well & u seem witty too..but I've noticed a problem;Extremism.. Some like 'our broda' 4rm d SS(we all know him) writes well nd is VERY witty,but maybe out of displeasure for percieved injustice 2his region,he would see nothing wrong in any1 4rm his region..So he appears 'Pro Governmnt'.We also hav anoder 'broda 4rm d North' who has an analytical mind(we know him 2)but his comments seem tainted by Deep Religious Sentiments,so he appears 'Pro Boko Haram'..u my broda on d other hand,appears 2hav a gud grasp on issues,but u NEVER seem 2comment on issues except wen u r Replying wot others comment on..dats why it sumtyms seems u r a Paid Writer 4d opposition..this PDP regime stinks 2High Heavens wit corruptn..But I still state again DAT we shuld pik them up on REAL issues..not d ones dey can wriggle out of.

@THINK2WIC£: You ought to sue the school you went to

@THINK2WIC£

Looking at your submission, I am not surprised you failed to see the logic in Rudolph's submission. Were you actually taught to write this way and think upside down ? Honest, you ought to sue the school you went to.

Rudolph challenged the CCB chairman for not coming public with the fact that Dumbo Jo had not declared his assets as we all had been saying here for 2 years now and yet you claimed "Our grouse shuld be with d CCB 4 not releasing the content wen requested for!"

But you have got no issues with a President who blatantly disobeyed the law by not declaring his assets before being sworn in and has repeatedly lied that he declared it in secret !! If only the moron had asked the Italian company for a school bribe instead of a church, people like you would have hope of getting proper education someday !

SILLY JAUNDICED ARTICLE DECEIVING MYOPIC PEOPLE!!!

Write-Ups like dis tarnish d image of this Great website..Honestly.. Most of us DAT comment on dis site r Educated..let's not allow Sentiments overCloud our sense of Objective reasoning!what does d law say? 'Public Declaration'?? 'Public Playin 2d Gallery'?? Late Yaradua did his 'Openly'..Have u Rudolf Ever Been 2abuja 2see d Massive shoppin mall in Utako his wife(turai) built?? These r NOT d issues Rudolf..we expect him 2declare it @ d CCB..dats All! Our grouse shuld be with d CCB 4 not releasing the content wen requested for! Pls let's hav objective Criticism..NOT criticism 4 d sake of it.. U don't hav 2b SO "Anti-establishment" that u end up writin jaundiced articles that Myopic people take-In Hook-Line-and Sinker!!!

very childish thoughts from the-zikist movement

Same old Regional thoughts from an unthinking thinker-how much tax did Zik pay? Awo was forced to ask-he paid only 5 naira to the coffers of the FGN in his assets declaration form-when he contested against Shagari-just 5 naira-And alhaji maiduguri-dont forget to publish the law which stated that Jonathan must declare his oil blocks among other assets at tinubu square where fashola declared his-b4 being sworn-in-

Time will tell

Time will definitely tell, we are waiting

President GEJ Owns Abuja. His Oil Money Build Abuja Period!

President Goodluck Jonathan owns Abuja. You people are talking rubbish. His oil money build Abuja. The Groundnut Pyramids are long gone. They peanut money was used to build New Nigerian Newspaper & ABU. What else are you dogs talking about. Please GEJ, get your pocket full with your oil money or else the North will steal it clean. Don't mind them. They are crying like Bishop Kukah. Kukah which is defined in hausa as CRYING. You see, I am an Igbo man in support of your actions. Did Umaru Diko declare his assets? Ewu ne bakwa people. Long live Pres. GEJ. Four more years Mr. President. I wish the first lady speedy recovery.

Good And Thoughful Article

Brother, your zeal for a better Nigeria is not sans supporters. When that Nigeria does arrive, your name, your thoughts will occupy her every nook. I thank you so much for your work and care for our beloved country. We'll get there.

If the president's assets

If the president's assets declaration is with the CCB and not in Abati's office you guys in SH will soon lay your hands on a copy. In any of the 2 cases(CCB/Abati's office) please check the declaration well 'cause it may belong to a councillor in Bayelsa.

smh

See mumu is TY Danjuma the president? Goat read before commenting please.

@Obi Shehu...........Why are

@Obi Shehu...........Why are you so mad at the northerners? You are not the only one who can ask questions, but at least, ask "intelligently". I will not be surprised if you are a ritual killer. You have the traits. Thank you.

Hahahaha............

@Moyingee.......Hahahahaha! What about Frank Spencer?

Please.....Be fair to GEJ

This Rudolf guy is hilarious, Seriously...I agree with you completely though.
However, we must be fair. we must consider the fact that our "Ph.D holder" has proven that he is intellectually on the same level of them Mr Bean and Charley Chaplin? Thus, please don't fault him for being so late in declaring his assets.

WHICH OIL?

When you hear someone says', The oil belongs to him or them', it sounds awkward. One may think when he passes shit or urine is oil that will come out. For this reason of ownership we said that in 2015 he will leave Abuja since it does not belong to him. Let him go to his oil and leave our area. You'll surely see this with your own eyes.

Jonathan Best Wuruwuru President Ever

Mr Jonathan needed 16 months to manipulate his assets.

He must remove the overload apiliko(egunje) wey don dey over flow inside.

Like the new hotel wey Timipiri Silver no gree build again for Yenegoa, the church wey the dead italian dash am, the malabu, malaga or makaka oil yete yete wey e do with Adoke and shell. Gov property and Pet. products round tripping returns etc.

Im assets don over grow by 100000%, and e need time to return am to sqaure one and to just add am the small N1billion wey e dey get for food money.

Jonathan is a PUBLIC office holder!

Abati said PUBLIC officer. If so, how can a PUBLIC officer declare his assets and hide it in a drawer? If it is not made PUBLIC then he is not a PUBLIC OFFICER! Never mind, the man had already told Nigerians that he does not give a damn and will never declare his assets. I know the very day he completes a form and passes it to CCB, the next minute it would be on Sahara Reporters. That is his trepidation.

That retrogressive thinker, OC, who frequently spews rubbish on SR would want CCB to take him to court for not declaring his assets so that Dr. Saba would lose his job and further be roped with a phantom court case for looting. Ask Ogbulafor who voiced that GEJ would honour the party's rotation policy for the Presidency what became of his Chairmanship of the party. Not satiated, GEJ took him to court for imaginary theft of N100 million that has since stalled. Anytime, Abati mentions "transformation" again he should be told to check into the nearest Aro home for some check-up.

Leave D President Alone, After all D Oil Money Is From His Land!

You guys are asking for trouble; why should President GEJ declare his assets? Have you guys asked Theophilus Danjuma to declare his asset or the norther elites? By the way, whose oil money is involved in the purchase of the said assets? The farmer's crops are ripe for him to harvest he should seize the opportunity to do so. The Hausa/Fulani have been harvesting the crops they did not sow and no one dare asked them to declare their assets. Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo why are you mad at GEJ? Is it because the Igbos are denied the opportunity to have their shares? Igbos should blame themselves because it is their own fault not to unite and have their shares. GEJ, the oil money is yours. It is your land that produced it. Do not mind them.....the noise makers like Rudolf the rain Deer. Ho! ho! ho!!!

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