False Asset Declaration: Deputy Senate president, Ekweremadu to face trial

The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) will next week begin hearing of a case of false declaration of assets preferred against the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.
According to reports, Ekweremadu is said to have failed to declare under oath that he had assets in United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States of America which contradicts the law.
Following this development, officials of the ministry of justice and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have concluded plans to visit the UAE on Monday to seek the forfeiture of eight properties allegedly linked to Ekweremadu.
The forfeiture is being pursued under a bilateral agreement reached between the two countries after President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office in 2015.
Sahara Reporters, the whistle-blowing website, had reported that Nigeria requested for information on Ekweremadu’s assets relying on the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEoI), a multi-jurisdictional instrument for exposing hidden assets and incomes.
Nigeria is a signatory to AEoI.
According to the website, two “undeclared” properties were also traced to Ekweremadu in the UK and three in the US — bringing to a total of 13.
Ekweremadu, a senator elected on the platform of PDP since 2003, caused an upset in 2015 when he was elected deputy senate president in an APC-dominated chamber.
Saraki, although a member of APC, was elected Senate president against the wishes of the party hierarchy.
If found guilty, both men could lose their positions and could also be banned from holding public office for up to 10 years.
Mr. Ekweremadu’s properties in the UAE were exposed by a whistleblower. In the country, the Deputy Senate President owns eight properties. Among these are Apartments EGG1/1/114 and EGG1/1/115 Emirates Garden, Apartment DFB/12/B 1204 Park Towers, Flat 3604, MAG214 and Villa No.148, MAEEN1 The Lakes, Emirate Hills. The others are Boulevard 3901, two flats of Burij Side Boulevard, The Signature; and Room 1903, Hotel Downtown.
Credits: The Cable