The president's aides reacted to Muhammadu Buhari's and Yemi Osinbajo's failure to declare their assets publicly.
It was yesterday provided that the two leaders had declared their assets as required by the Constitution. However, they did not make the content public.
Nigerians negatively reacted to the development lamenting that it was not what the APC politicians promised during the election campaign.
Several groups, including Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, have already urged President Buhari to comply with his promises. The Peoples Democratic Party, however, stated:
"We will allow President Muhammadu Buhari to settle down and address the promises made to Nigerians, we will talk on asset declaration later."
In reactions to the situation, the presidential aides insisted that Buhari and his vice Osinbajo would make their assets known within the first 100 days in office, Vanguard reports. They said this term was in line with Buhari's campaign assertions.
The president's associate, who pleaded for anonymity, recalled that Buhari had 97 days ahead to make the content of his declaration public.
"In the document the president said what he would do within the first 100 days and among them was that he would declare his assets publicly in the first 100 days. How many hours has he been in office? How many days after his inauguration?
"I think that the president should be given the benefit of the doubt. It is only three days since he came to office. Does he not deserve the benefit of the balance of the 96 remaining days? I think he deserves commendations."
Some legal professionals have also commented on he issue.
Professor Itse Sagay, SAN:
"I have no doubt that he will make it public because that is where credibility starts. That is where Jonathan started losing credibility.
"The late Umar Yar’Adua forced him to declare his assets in 2007, reluctantly, he did it. But when he was his own man, he said he does not give a damn and that is where he started sliding down. So, Buhari has no choice, it is absolute for himself and Osinbajo if change and credibility are going to be sustained.
"There is no other way out, so I expect in the next 24 hours or so that we would know what their assets are. He should apply it to every other appointee of his regime, not just himself and Osinbajo, it is compulsory and absolute."
Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN:
"There is nothing wrong in what the President and his vice have done. Anyone who is not satisfied with that should go to the Code of Conduct Bureau to get the information they need on the declaration.
"If the Code of Conduct refuses, they can invoke the Freedom of Information Act. When President Yar’Adua did his declaration, he asked the code of conduct to make it public.
"Yar’Adua did not make his declaration public. People should desist from making noise about it because the President and his vice did the right thing. Getting information about the contents of the declaration should be done accordingly through the Code of Conduct and if it refuses, people can approach the court and the court can order the code of conduct to make it public."
Femi Falana, SAN:
"These men just took oath of office two days ago and they declared their assets officially as required by law which stipulates 90 days. Meanwhile, they’ve promised to declare their assets publicly within 100 days. I hope it is better we wait for the 100 days."
While Nigerians were discussing the matter, Buhari yesterday made several important appointments.
The president was said to have appointed Ogbonaya Onu as the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation. This information was neither confirmed, nor denied by the officials.
Femi Adesina and Mallam Garba Shehu were named his spokesmen.
The country leader also approved the appointment of Lawal Abdullahi Kazaure as the state chief of protocol.