Constitutional lawyer, Prof. Itse Sagay, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to make public his assets.
Sagay, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said this when our correspondent asked him to respond to the controversies surrounding the President’s net worth.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, had threatened to sue a foreign website,RichestLifestyle.com, which adjudged Jonathan as the sixth richest African President if it did not retract the news. Abati further stated that the report insinuated that Jonathan had corruptly enriched himself.
In a media chat with journalists on NTA in 2012, Jonathan, when asked why he had not declared his assets, said, “I don’t give a damn. That is a matter of principle and I am not going to declare. It is not the President declaring his asset that will end Boko Haram.”
However, Sagay told our correspondent on Thursday that Jonathan erred by not declaring his asset when he became President.
He said, “I think the precedence that late President Umaru Yar’adua established which was followed by Jonathan was very good and I think it was a mistake on the part of President Jonathan when he assumed power in his own right, to refuse to declare his assets. He must lead by example.
“Nigeria is a country that is ridden with corruption. So if the President of the country says ‘these are my assets and when I leave office, I will declare again and you will see that I have lived a straightforward life,’ that would have been very encouraging.
“It will be very good for him to declare, it will set a standard that the leadership of the country will follow and will create a high level of transparency. I hope he does so.”