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Panama Papers Group calls for probe of public office holders named in document leak

SERAP also gave the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), a 14 day ultimatum to commence a probe on those indicted by the document.

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Mossack Fonseca's office in Panama play

Mossack Fonseca's office in Panama

(ABC Australia)

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has joined the call for the prosecution of public office holders whose names appear in the leaked Panama Papers.

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana also called for the trial of all public office holders indicted in the document.

SERAP also frowned at the practice where public office holders maintain foreign accounts, in breach of the code of conduct for such offices.

The group also gave the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), a 14 day ultimatum to commence a probe on those indicted by the document.

SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni said “We would be grateful if the bureau could begin to take these steps within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter.

“If we have not heard from you by then as to the steps the bureau is taking to address the concerns raised in this letter, the Registered Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel the bureau to effectively discharge its constitutional and statutory mandates in this instance.”

He said “SERAP also believes that bodies like the Code of Conduct Bureau should now seize the opportunity and use its mandate to react to this international scandal by taking concrete and proactive steps to address increasing breaches of constitutional provisions by high-ranking public officers.

“This action will be entirely consistent with the Nigerian 1999 Constitution (as amended), the law establishing the bureau, and will meet demands by Nigerians for improvement in transparency regarding asset declaration and sanctions of public officers for breaches.”

A Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca which specialises in setting up shell companies in tax havens for individuals and businesses, has been in the centre of the scandal involving a leak of confidential documents containing names of the firm’s clients.

The scandal has now been dubbed Panama Papers.

Nigerians who were named in the documents include former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, former Senate President, David Mark and wife of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Toyin Saraki.

Africa's richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and former Senate President, David Mark have both denied having any dealings with Mossack Fonseca.

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