The registered trustees of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), has dragged the Federal Government and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) before a Federal High Court in Abuja mode of assets declaration.
The legal action instituted, is asking the Federal High Court to restrain the Code of Conduct Bureau from accepting or receiving assets declaration from public officers without a back up valuation report to challenge the propriety or otherwise of the practice of accepting assets declarations from public officers without a valuation report of experts.
In the court action filed on behalf of the body by Ikechi Gerald Nweneka, it was contended that the practice of accepting assets declaration without a report by a registered estate surveyor and valuer to determine the real value of assets is in contravention of section 3 (a) and (b) part 1 of the third schedule of the 1999 constitution.
Other plaintiff in the suit is Olorogun James Omeru who is the President of NIESV.
TheAttorney General of the Federation, Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and Sam Saba, the CCB Chairman are the three defendants.
The plaintiffs sought court declaration that the current practice of the code of conduct bureau in receiving assets declaration from public officers without a valuation report signed by a registered estate surveyor and valuer is in contravention of section 3 (a) and (b) of the 1999 constitution and section 3(a) and (b) of the CCB and Tribunal Act.
They also asked for a declaration by the court that the combined force of sections 2and 15 (1) of the CCB and Tribunal Act cap C15 and paragraph 6 (d) a valuation report of the assets of public officers signed by a registered estate surveyor and valuers is necessary for a valid assets declaration to be received by the CCB.
In a 19 – paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summons, plaintiffs averred that by law, only persons registered by the estate surveyors and valuer registration board of Nigeria have authority to value assets in Nigeria.
The affidavit deposed to by Olorogun James Omeru indicated that the current practice by public officers is to allocate figures to their assets without any professional input or ascertainment of the true value of the assets.
Plaintiffs averred that the practice was largely responsible and has heightened corrupt practices by public officers in the country.
They also contended that the CCB has a duty to maintain a high standard morality and accountability in the conduct of government business by ensuring that the actions and behaviours of public officers conform to the highest standards of morality and accountability.
Plaintiffs therefore asked for court order directing the CCB to henceforth request for a valuation report signed by a Valuer registered in accordance with the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Act before accepting assets declaration from public officers in the country.
No date has yet been fixed for the suit.