Ex-Oyo council chiefs get ultimatum to declare assets

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

FORMER Council Chairmen and their Councillors in Oyo State have been given up till Friday to declare their assets or be prepared to face the wrath of the law.

The head, Code of Conduct Bureau, Mr. Dipo Yusuf, gave the order yesterday in Ibadan while speaking with reporters on the record of past political office holders.

He said the ultimatum became necessary following persistent appeals by the bureau to the former council bosses to make public their assests in line with the constitutional provisions.

His words: "We have made several appeals to the chairmen and councillors to declare their assests but to no avails.

Yusuf who expressed worry at the attitude of the ex-public officers, maintained "they are required to declare their assets after leaving office by the law.

"We have even written them through the Ministry of Local Government but the response is not encouraging.

"These people should know that this is a constitutional issue, they have no place to hide, if by Monday they did not submit their declaration forms, we will compile their names and sent it to Abuja for prosecution", he warned.

On the assumption that since the council bosses have declared their assets before assuming office, there was to need for assests declaration after leaving office, Yusuf said such belief was borne out of sheer ignorance of the law.

"The consequence of non-compliance with the provision of the constitution is grevious, they should know the implication, it is compulsory whether they like it or not," he maintained.

However, the code of conduct bureau boss admitted that some council chairmen collected the asset declaration forms but nobody had returned the forms despite several announcement, the councillors have not been forth-coming.

The state government last week ordered the Directors of Personnel Management (DPM) to replace the out-going chairmen whose tenure expired on May 29, 2002 inspite of the appointment of members of Transitional Committee to oversee the affairs of the councils.