An anti-corruption group, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, on Tuesday called for the arrest of politicians seeking to alter the information already contained in their assets declaration forms. The group said those engaging in the practice should be arrested and prosecuted for forgery. In a statement by its acting Media Officer, Temitope Macjob, CACOL said once assets declaration forms were filled and submitted by public officials to the CCB, it becomes a criminal act for any official of the bureau to allow any alteration to the documents.
It said since the politicians had already sworn to oaths that everything they filled in the forms as their assets was correct, they could not come back to seek any amendment to any part or section of information therein. CACOL, however, expressed dismay over what it described as the seeming ineffectiveness of the anti-corruption agencies in the country, especially the CCB.
The group said it was shameful that the CCB, whose activities were basically anchored on the principle of accountability and probity on the part of public officers, had been poorly discharging its responsibilities. According to CACOL, the CCB is not properly handling the assets declaration forms already submitted to it by politicians. The group said:
“Information reaching us has shown that the CCB seems to be complicit in the exercise to the extent that the bureau simply grants politicians unfettered access to assets declaration forms earlier submitted to it to be altered having seen that the new regime is not taking it easy with those who made anticipatory and false declarations.
“The forms were not even properly kept; when one gets to the CBB offices, constitutional process for accessing these forms is not strictly complied with. The forms are left in open shelves and, at times, on the desk where the forms could even disappear, thus allowing a declarant to easily alter what he/she had earlier declared.
“Corrupt CCB officials engaging in this criminal act should be warned to desist forthwith and be made to realise that the fate of the accomplice in a crime is as grave as that of the perpetrator.”