- Persons Under Corruption Probe, Litigations Affected
- Directs Security Agencies to Implement Travel
- It is Full-Blown Facism – PDP
The Federal Government has banned 50 persons from traveling abroad over corruption cases.
The ban followed a directive by President Muhammadu Buhari for the full implementation of Executive Order 6.
The Nigeria Immigration Service and other security agencies have been directed to place the 50 persons on their watch-list, pending the determination of their corruption cases.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, in a statement, said following the instant judicial affirmation of the constitutionality and legality of the Executive Order 6 (EO6), President Buhari has mandated the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to implement the Order in full force.
“To this end, a number of enforcement procedures are currently in place by which the Nigeria Immigration Service and other security agencies have placed no fewer than 50 high-profile persons directly affected by EO6 on watch-list and restricted them from leaving the county pending the determination of their cases,” he said.
He said the financial transactions of these persons of interest are being monitored by the relevant agencies to ensure that the assets are not dissipated and such persons do not interfere with, or howsoever corrupt the investigation and litigation processes.
“It is instructive to note that EO6 was specifically directed to relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that all assets within a minimum value of N50 million or equivalent, subject to investigation or litigation are protected from dissipation by employing all available lawful means, pending the final determination of any corruption-related matter,” he said.
He said the Buhari administration reassures all well-meaning and patriotic Nigerians of its commitment to the fight against corruption, in accordance with the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the general principles of the Rule of Law.
“Accordingly, this administration will uphold the rule of law in all its actions and the right of citizens would be protected as guaranteed by the Constitution.
“We, therefore, enjoin all Nigerians to cooperate with the law enforcement authorities towards ensuring a successful implementation of the Executive Order 6 which is a paradigm-changing policy of the Federal Government in the fight against corruption,” he said.
Daily Trust on Sunday reports that the names of the affected persons were not included in the statement. Also, Garba Shehu did not reply to a text message requesting the names of the affected persons.
It would be recalled that President Buhari had while signing the Executive Order 6 last July declared a state of emergency on corruption.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the attempt by the Presidency to foist what it termed a full-blown fascism on the nation beginning with the placement of “illegal travel restrictions” on 50 Nigerians.
The party in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the step was clearly targeted at members of the opposition parties, perceived political enemies of President Muhammadu Buhari and well-meaning Nigerians, including members of the business community, religious leaders, former political leaders and traditional rulers.
“The PDP further notes that this ‘decree’ is a direct clampdown on our democratic order and an overthrow of rights of our citizenry as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“We hope this is not a ploy to harm certain eminent Nigerians on the claims of resisting travel restrictions.
“The whole world can now see how fascism is fast taking over our democracy and judicial system and how the Buhari administration, by fiat, has directly ordered that citizens be secretly trailed, their movements and financial transactions restricted by government agencies, without recourse to due process of the law.
“While the PDP notes that the Buhari Presidency has gone into panic mode since the popular emergence of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as PDP Presidential candidate and the spontaneous jubilation his emergence has evoked across the country, the party maintains that the resort to total clamp down on the opposition and our supporters will be totally unacceptable.
“What this means is that all Nigerians, particularly, opposition members, members of the business community and religious leaders, have become endangered and stand the risk of state violence under the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.
“The PDP therefore alerts the international community to hold the Buhari Presidency responsible should any harm befall any opposition leader, key members of the business community and religious leaders across the country as we march towards the 2019 general election,” the PDP said.
Lawyers, CSOs differ on ban
Lawyers have expressed different views about the order which came into force yesterday.Dayo Akinlaja (SAN) stated that the Executive Order cannot be justified against the backdrop of constitutional provisions on freedom of movement.
He said, however, that the order can be made where it is for a good course and subject to an order of the court. But Hamid Ajibola Jimoh said the President has the powers to make the restrictions pursuant to the provisions of Section 41(2) of the Constitution.
“The President acting as an Executive President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has the executive powers to issue the Executive Order pursuant to sections: 5(1)(b) & 41(2)(a) & 318(4) of the constitution, sections: 10(1)(2), 12, 18,19,37 of the interpretation act, 2004,” he said.
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