Non-declaration of assets: NAICOM chiefs shun CCB invitation

Three chief executives of National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) were on Thursday April 11 invited by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to response to petitions against them on alleged failure to declare their assets before the CCB, as required by law for public office holders.

The invitation, sighted by our correspondent, requested the heads of the institution namely Commissioner for Insurance/Chief Executive of the organization, Mr Mohammed Kari; Deputy Commissioner for Insurance (Technical) Mr Sunday Olorundare Thomas; and Deputy Commissioner for Insurance, Finance and Administration, Mr George Onekhena, to appear before the CCB by 11am, 2pm and 4pm respectively.

This newspaper gathered that Mr. Kari refused to appear, while the other two persons only sent representatives to request for rescheduling of their invitation by the CBB.

The letter, addressed to them individually, and containing the same contents read: “Investigation Activities: Re: Breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers.

“I am directed to refer to the Bureau’s letter no CCB/HQ/II&M/007/1834, dated 1stApril, 2019 on the above stated subject matter, and to inform you of the scheduled date for your interview as follows:

Date: Thursday, 11th April, 2019. Time: 11am prompt (for Kari) Venue: Conference Room, 5thFloor, Annex 3, Federal Secretariat Complex, Shehu Shagari Way, Maitama, Abuja.

The aforementioned schedule supersedes our earlier invitation for interview on 10th April, 2019. Kindly accept our apologies, please.”

A reliable source within NAICOM told our correspondent that Kari was appointed by former President, Goodluck Jonathan as Deputy Commissioner (Technical) on the 31st March, 2014. After expiration of the tenure of the former Commissioner for the Insurance, he was appointed on 31st July, 2015 as Commissioner for Insurance.

“The first appointment as Deputy Insurance (Technical), he did not declare his assets, based on the constitutional provision of the Code of Conduct Bureau.

“Again, when he was appointed as Commissioner for the Insurance, he did not declare again. It is two violations. As Deputy Insurance (Technical), he did not declare. When he was appointed by this administration, he still didn’t declare. That is the reason he is being invited by the Code of Conduct for the breach of the breach of constitution for non-declaration of assets, just like the case of the former CJN that we’ve just witnessed.

“According to the source, Kari is being investigated by the Special Presidential Investigation Committee on Recovery of Public Assets, Obono Obla on the looting of public assets.

“The same thing, the second in command, which is Mr Thomas Olorundare. He was appointed on the 10th April, 2017. He too, as Deputy Commissioner (Technical), he has not declared his assets.

“The third one is Mr. George. He was appointed on the 24 November 2009. He did not declare his own assets too. Up till this moment, getting to about 10 years, even when his appointment was renewed in 2015, he didn’t declare his assets. He acted two times (at the Commission).

“Our concern is that is there a double standard in this country whereby head of the judiciary is being suspended on allegation of non-declaration of asset, while chief executives in the executive arm of the government are found wanting. From the feelers we are having, they are ignoring even the invitation by the CCB.”

The source noted there were insinuations that Mr George had resigned from the Commission, but violation of the law does not mean he is not answerable to the CCB.

The source furthered that George’s alleged resignation had not been accepted by the government.

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