In 2015, a twitter handle – @yojora – claimed that “GEJ has refused to declare his assets since becoming president”. In another tweet on the same subject, @graham_TeleNoza said that Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) publicly declared his assets as Vice President, but made a private asset declaration as President.
In 2011, as is the constitutional requirement, President Goodluck Jonathan made a declaration of his assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
But before we answer the question of whether President Jonathan publicly declared his assets, some background on the declaration of assets by Nigerian public officials:
Whilst the declaration of assets by public officials is mandatory (see Sections 140; 142(2) of the Constitution of the FRN; and Paragraph 11, Part 1 of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of the FRN), a public declaration is voluntary and is not a legal requirement for public officials.
In 2007 Late President Yar’Adua made public his asset declaration, and public pressure compelled his Vice President at the time, Goodluck Jonathan, to do so soon after. Yar’Adua did this by publishing copies of the asset declaration forms he submitted to the CCB.
Since then, a few public officials have also chosen to go beyond the constitutional minimum by declaring their assets. They include:
(2) Dr. Chidi Odinkalu (former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission)
(3) Mr. Waziri Adio (Executive Secretary, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative)
However, as president, Goodluck Jonathan did submit his asset declaration form to the CCB, as confirmed by the CCB chairman, but he refused to make its contents public, or issue a public statement detailing his assets and liabilities.
Therefore, as vice president, Goodluck Jonathan made a public asset declaration, and the claim by @graham_TeleNoza that he publicly declared his assets as VP is valid.
Furthermore, the claim by @graham_TeleNoza that President Jonathan declared his assets privately is valid, as he made a declaration to the CCB.
However, the claim by @yojora that he refused to declare his assets “since becoming president” is false.