Confusion has gripped officials at the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) after records relating to Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s asset declaration suddenly disappeared from the storage facility that has held them for years, Peoples Gazette is reporting.
The reported disappearance could frustrate ongoing corruption investigation into Tinubu’s asset by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Three officials familiar with the matter said the CCB started looking for Tinubu’s asset filings after the EFCC requested copies as part of an ongoing investigation into the former Lagos governor’s financial and material possessions. Several offices have been rummaged at the bureau as officials scrambled to produce the documents for EFCC’s use — all to a dead end.
“We have searched for the case file everywhere because we want to comply with the lawful request made by the EFCC,” a top management official at the bureau told Peoples Gazette.
“We have not been able to find the documents either at the main head office or the annexe office in Asokoro.”
Another official who interacted with one of the mid-level staffers tasked with finding the documents said the matter had become “terribly embarrassing” and a cause for unending worry at the bureau, which is the primary anti-corruption agency in charge of collecting and keeping assets of schedule government officials before and after assumption of office.
“We cannot find the asset documents at all,” the official said. “We cannot even find photocopies that we can certify for the EFCC.”
Tinubu was the governor of Lagos from 1999-2007. Officials said he declared his asset when he assumed office and when he concluded his second term in May 2007.
Anti-graft agencies had previously investigated and charged Tinubu on the basis of the documents in 2011, but the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), which primarily hears cases brought by the bureau, dismissed the matter on technical grounds, leaving the merit of the case floating for nearly a decade. No further charges had been preferred against the ruling party chief ever since.
But as he prepares to seek Nigeria’s presidency in 2023, anti-corruption officials told said they’re now convinced by “institutional memory” that Tinubu’s asset filings were incriminating and must revisit the matter to prevent “another rogue” from assuming power in a country still reeling from decades of infamy.