Lawflex, a Lagos-based law firm, has asked the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to prosecute Labour Party presidential candidate Mr. Peter Obi for failing to declare assets stashed in tax havens while serving as governor of Anambra State.
The firm stated in a letter dated March 23 and signed by Olukoya Ogungbeje that the goal of the letter is to bring to the CCB’s attention an investigation conducted by PREMIUM TIMES.
PREMIUM TIMES has provided information on Obi’s investments in some renowned tax havens in its 2021 investigation, which he did not disclose in his statutory CCB filings before and after leaving office as governor of Anambra State.
The enterprises were established and run outside of Nigeria, notably in infamous tax and secrecy havens, in ways that violated Nigerian regulations.
According to Lawflex, Obi violated the code of conduct for Nigerian public officials, and the CCB was urged to “act appropriately” by arraigning the former governor before the “Code of Conduct Tribunal for contravention of the Code of Conduct for Nigerian Public Officers as spelled out in the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, (As Amended).
Obi did not report his offshore holdings, and the assets related to them. He also continued to run and maintain international accounts as a governor, including with Lloyds in the United Kingdom.
The former governor stated that he did not declare these firms, as well as the monies and properties they own, in his asset declaration forms with the Code of Conduct Bureau, a Nigerian government department that deals with corruption, conflict of interest, and abuse of office by public workers.
He claimed he had no idea the law required him to report assets or companies he owned with family members or anyone else.
Obi remained a director of Next International (UK) Limited for 14 months after becoming governor.
However, Ogungbeje urged the CCB to investigate the breach quickly and summon Obi for questioning.
The lawyer warned that if the CCB refuses to take constitutional action within 30 days, his firm would seek a “judicial review by way of an Order of Mandamus in a court of competent jurisdiction in a bid to compel performance of public duty.”