HEDA Petitions Code Of Conduct Bureau To Probe DG Of Nigerian Copyright Commission, Asein

The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has asked the Code Of Conduct Bureau to probe the Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, John Asein, over the collection of double salary from government.

Asein is being accused of holding the position and collecting the salary of Executive Director of the Reproduction Rights Society of Nigeria while serving as a DG of NCC.

Sources in the NCC, who also affirmed the scandal, said Asein has failed to clear his name in the scandal, adding that he cannot raise the defense that he was working for another private company on a pro bono basis.

It was gathered that while making efforts to exonerate himself, Asein wrote a resignation letter to REPRONIG backdating the time of the submission of the letter to when he resumed office as the DG of NCC. 

HEDA, in the petition to the CCB signed by its Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, said the offences were strict liability and are in clear violation of the country’s constitution.

Suraju posited that the allegations levelled against the DG of NCC is a strong disdain for public accountability and established checks and balances under the laws.

The petition reads, “In the light of the report and the allegations by the anonymous caller and documentary evidence provided, we have distilled the following actions/allegations initiated against the Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission. 

“The collection of the remuneration after retirement, allegations of receiving salary between January to April 2016 after retiring in December 2015 which is contrary to the Code of Conduct for Public Officers. 

“Whilst serving as a Director at the Nigerian Copyright Commission, doubled as a director f the Books and Gavel, private company limited by shares.

“Also, the allegations of receiving from a public office and holding the position of Executive Director of the Reproduction Rights Society of Nigeria (REPRONIG), a commission.”

The anti-corruption crusader added that the allegations conveyed a flagrant abuse of office and the undue exercise of privilege and impunity by a public officer, stating that it portrays total disrespect for democracy and the constitution of the country.

“The above allegations runs afoul of Code of Conduct for Public Officer, Part 1, of the Fifth schedule in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Section 1 of the Code, which states that a public officer shall not put hiself in a position where his interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities.

“Section 2 of the Code states that without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, a public officer shall not receive or be paid the emoluments of any public office at the same time as he receives or is paid the emoluments of any public office.

“Also, Section 10 of the Code, which states that a public officer shall not be a member of, belong to, or take part in any society the membership of which is incompatible with the functions or dignity of his office,” Suraju added.

HEDA stated that it trusts the capacity of the CCB to thoroughly and urgently investigate and begin the probing of Asein without giving in to intimidation and corruption.

“We believe strongly in due process and the rule of law, which is why we are forwarding this petition to your office for an urgent action.

We humbly demand that an urgent and immediate investigation be initiated to uncover the true position with the aim to ascertain the verity and possible prosecution,” Suraju said.

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