A group, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Integrity Group has expressed worry over the reluctance of the Code of Code Bureau (CCB) to proceed with the investigation of the allegation of non-declaration of assets by the PDP governorship candidate in Bayelsa, Senator Douye Diri.
The CCB had on October 9 confirmed that it had a petition against Diri written by an anti-corruption group, Bayelsa Coalition for Good Governance and Accountability which accused Diri of not declaring his assets when he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Principal Executive Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State.
The coordinator of the group, Mr Tony Nathan Ile in a statement said it was worrisome because the signals the CCB was sending indicated that it wanted to compromise its objectives and constitutional responsibilities by investigating the petition.
The statement read in part: “It is quite disturbing to us as a group, that both the petitioners and the Bureau have maintained a grave silence on this grave issue of public importance. The question we are asking is: why has the bureau failed to refer the said accused person to the Code of Conduct Tribunal for prosecution as it is in similar cases? We are aware of the constitutional responsibility of citizens who are holding any public office to declare their assets as stipulated in the 1999 constitution. Since it is agreed that he who comes to equity must come with clean hands, it is, therefore, a necessary task for the CCB to ensure that someone who seeks a public office as high as the governorship of a state does so without blemish. The continued silence and inaction of the CCB seems like a calculated attempt to sweep this most important issue under the carpet by the bureau. This will amount to a great disservice not only to Bayelsa State but to the nation in general. We pray the bureau to, as a matter of public importance and urgency, expedite action by informing the public on the status of the said allegation or better still, refer the accused to the Code of Conduct Tribunal for prosecution.”
Meanwhile a group, Douye Diri Support Group has described as needless the allegation that Diri breached the law by his alleged failure to comply with the CCB act whilst serving as Deputy Chief of Staff between 2013 and 2014.
The coordinator of the group, Bar Gita explained that going by the provisions of CCB Act, the position held by Sen. Diri then did not fall within the category of public officers captured by the act.
Gita who made reference to the Second Schedule of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, urged Bayelsans not to lose sleep over the petition against Diri on the alleged breach, describing the intent of the allegation as a calculated attempt to confuse and mislead the public.