Prominent lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), and a civil society group, Access to Justice has criticised the implementation of the Executive Order 6 recently issued by President Muhammadu Buhari, which place travel banned on some prominent Nigerian.
While the civil society group, Access to Justice, called for the trashing of the Executive Order number 6, Falana, on his part, in a press statement in Lagos on Sunday, admonished that the list be withdraw with immediate effect.
“The PEO is also a gratuitous piece of dangerous precedent that opens the door to an uncontrollable dictatorship; it can be used arbitrarily and vindictively to fight and muzzle political opposition, and promote wholly politically partisan objectives,” the Director of Access to Justice, Mr. Joseph Otteh, added in a statement on Sunday.
Naija News recalls that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on media and Publicity, Mr. Shehu Garba, had the names on those affected published following last week’s judgment of the Federal High Court validating the Presidential Executive Order 6.
The order provides for interim seizure of assets connected with criminal investigations or ongoing trial to prevent the said assets from being dissipated.
Falana, who described the travel ban as “superfluous”, because either the court or the various anti-corruption agencies had already seized the passports of the affected persons.
He, further admonished the federal government to withdraw the list, saying that the move was ridiculous.
“If the Federal Government had done some background check it would have discovered that the names of the 50 VIPs have long been placed on security watch list while their passports have been impounded by the anti-graft agencies or the courts as one of the conditions for admitting them to bail.
“It is public knowledge that whenever the defendants wish to travel abroad for medical treatment they usually apply for the interim release of their passports. Since the courts have taken judicial notice of the perilous state of medical facilities in the country such applications are usually granted.” he said.
In February 2009, the Federal Government regime directed all Nigerian embassies and high commissions not to renew the passports of Messrs Nuhu Ribadu and Nasir El Rufai (now Kaduna state governor) on account of intra class feud. Both of them were then living in exile.
“But as soon as the attention of former President Umoru Yaradua was drawn to the case of the Director-General, State Security Service v Olisa Agbakoba (supra) he ensured that the illegal directive was immediately withdrawn.”
While rejecting the travel ban, Assess to Justice, called for the reversal of the PEO6 which it said could be vindictively used to fight and muzzle political opposition, and promote wholly politically partisan objectives.
Otteh said in the statement that the judgment on which the Federal Government anchored the decision for the issuance of the travel ban, made it clear that the Attorney-General of the Federation who is the coordinator of the implementation of the PEO6 could not deny owners access to their assets without a court order.
Source: Naija News