The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Saturday 13th October 2018 directed the Attorney-General of the Federation to commence the implementation of Executive Order No.6, which was signed by the President in July 2018. The Order places travel restrictions and other restrictions on more than 50 politically exposed persons in Nigeria.
The Order is designed to restrict the affected persons from leaving the country pending the determination of their cases in Court. In addition to the travel ban, the financial transactions of the affected persons of interest are being monitored by relevant government agencies to ensure that assets under investigation are not dissipated or removed from Nigeria. The Order also directs relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that all assets within a minimum value of N50 million or equivalent which are subject to investigation or litigation are protected from dissipation pending the final determination of any corruption-related matter.
The proclamation of the Order has been met with criticism from some legal practitioners and members of the opposition party, who have labelled the Order undemocratic and fascist. In a Suit filed at the Abuja Division of the Federal Court of Nigeria challenging the validity of the Order, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu on Wednesday 10th October 2018, upheld the validity of the Order and found that the Order did not violate the rights of citizens to own property, rather it was informed by the President’s willingness to save suspected property dissipation. The Court, however, warned that the Attorney-General of the Federation must always obtain a Court order prior to the seizure of any assets.
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