Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina spoke like a lawyer while defending President Buhari on asset declaration on Monday.
He said his principal was not compelled by any law to make public his assets for the second term.
Adesina who spoke on Monday evening on Channels TV reacted negatively to the demand of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, requesting Buhari, Osinbajo and governors to publish their assets.
SERAP had on Sunday given President Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and the 36 state governors seven days to make their assets public.
SERAP stated that the non-public disclosure by public officials of their summary of assets seriously undermines the effectiveness and integrity of the constitutional and statutory obligations to submit asset declarations.
But, Adesina insisted that the decision to make the assets public is a matter of voluntary will and not a compulsion.
‘The President will do what the law requires of him and I can say for a fact that the President has declared his assets.’
‘Declaring that publicly is not in our law but voluntary therefore he cannot be compelled to do so.
The FOI Act, however, establishes the right of anyone to request information in the custody of any public official, agency or institution, with the exception of security files which are not of public concern.
Asked if the President will oblige if the FOI Act was invoked, Mr Adesina further affirmed that making the President’s assets public will be based on the discretion of the Code of Conduct Bureau.
‘If the FOI Act is invoked, it will be left with the Code of Conduct Bureau to release such information. The President has declared and already deposited the documents to them. So, it’s left to them to make such a decision’, he ended.
On a flashback, both President Buhari and his Vice, Osinbajo made a public declaration at their first tenure in 2015.