5th April, 2016
Senate President, Bukola Saraki on Monday dismissed the leaked Panama Papers linking him to some hidden assets abroad, arguing that, he has fully complied with the provisions of the law on declaration of assets by public officers.
In a reaction to the claim contained in the Panama-based offshore provider, Mossack Fonseca and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) that he failed to declare assets belonging to his wife, Mrs Toyin Saraki, in secret offshore territories, Saraki said he has in his different asset declarations included properties owned individually by himself and his wife.
“The property in question forms part of Dr. Saraki’s wife’s family asset. It is public knowledge that Mrs. Saraki comes from a family of independent means and wealth with numerous and varied assets acquired over decades in family estates and investments.”
“Furthermore, the law only requires a public officer to declare his own assets and those held by his spouse and his children under 18 years of age. The law does not require a public officer to declare assets held by the spouse’s family.
“It is not expected by the law that a public officer should declare such assets held in the spouse’s family estate. Indeed, the Code of Conduct form does not make provision for declaration of spouse’s family assets,” he stated.