Official President Buhari defends travel ban across the world

      The Presidency was last night fending off blows over the controversial Executive Order 6, which imposes a travel ban on about 50 prominent citizens facing corruption and money laundering charges. Rights will be respected, the Presidency said, adding that the Executive order is neither political “nor is there any political gain behind its activation.” The clarification came amid the growing row over the Executive Order which President Muhammadu Buhari ordered Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami to implement to the letter.

    The Atiku Campaign Organisation joined the peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to castigate the action. The organisationn said the implementation of the Order could lead to capital flight and return the economy into recession. Lagos lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) advised the governmet to withdraw the Executive Order and allow the courts stop suspected looters from travelling. Some lawyers have argued that since the court has okayed the Order, a travel ban under it is not out of place.

        The Alliance for New Nigeian (ANN) described the Ordeer as “dictatorial”, adding that there are enough safeguards in the constitution to take care of corruption with the guarantee for freedom of movement for citizens. But presidential spokesnam Garba Shehu said “this is the first time any government is taking such a key decision to fight corruption”, adding that “EO 6 is not only revolutionary to the efforts to rid Nigeria of corruption but a manifestation of systemic changes that are required to to make necessary adjustments as we carry on with the war against corruption.”

       He explained that “the very essence of the order is to make for speedy trials and conclusion of graft cases. The order is not political and there is no political gain behind its activation. “These high profile cases we are talking about have been ongoing for between seven and 10 years with no end in sight. These case were mostly originated by administrations other than this one. “What is clear is that the access to these resources by the suspects has enabled them to be in a position to sometimes compromise investigation, prosecution and trial. In most of the cases, the courts are held in a helpless position by legal acrobatics paid for from corrupt enrichment by the suspects.

          “The new measures put in place should compel everyone involved to make for a speedy conclusion of these cases. If it is your money, you have it back. If it belongs to the public, it goes back to the treasury. “The question of the constitutionality of the restriction order is answered by the fact that a court of the land has given government a clean sheet. The Executive Order is legal and constitutional and therefore implementable.

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