Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria Femi Falana has faulted your choice of the Nigerian Government to ban 50 high-profile Nigerians from travelling from the country.
In a statement on Sunday, Falana needed the immediate withdrawal of the ban, arguing that the move by the national government is similar to the times of military rule.
“For the umpteenth time, I’m compelled to caution the Buhari administration to wage the war contrary to the menace of corruption within the ambit of the rule of law,” he said.
“Because the 50 high-profile criminal suspects included in EO6 (Executive Order 6) have already been positioned on watch list while their passports have already been seized by either the anti-graft agencies or the courts, the travel ban slammed in it by President Buhari should be withdrawn without the delay.”
Falana’s statement is in a reaction to the announcement by the government on Saturday that 50 prominent Nigerians have been positioned on a watchlist and restricted from leaving the united states predicated on Executive Order 6, in July that was issued by President Muhammadu Buhari, “pending the determination of these cases”.
Read the entire statement here.
on Friday upheld the order
A Federal High Court had in Abuja, which, among other activities, permits the interim seizure of assets associated with investigation, ongoing criminal trials, along with other related offences.
The executive order also empowers the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), in liaison with relevant investigative agencies, to seize properties associated with corruption temporarily, to avoid the dissipation of such assets.
Although your choice has been based by the Presidency on the validation of the EO6 by the court, Falana said the move was uncalled for.
“Sadly, the travel ban is really a sad reminder of the reckless keeping political opponents on security watch list and seizure of these passports by the defunct military junta,” he said.
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Explaining his position, Falana said, “In Director-General, State Security Service v Olisa Agbakoba (1999) 3 NWLR (Pt 595) 340, the Supreme Court didn’t hesitate to condemn the violation of the proper of the respondent to freedom of movement through the seizure of his passport by the appellant.
“It had been the view of the Court that the proper of citizens to freedom of movement guaranteed by section 41 of the Constitution and article 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act cannot be abridged or abrogated by the Executive beyond your procedure permitted for legal reasons.”
The human rights lawyer also gave types of prominent Nigerians who’ve been suffering from such restrictions during the past and instances where in fact the court ruled within their favour.
He said, “From placing over 100 citizens on security watch list apart, the passports of the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu, Mallam El-Rufai, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Mr.Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (now Emir of Kano) etc were seized without the legal justification by the Obasanjo and Jonathan regimes.
“It really is on record that both El-Rufai and Sanusi successfully challenged the seizure of these passports at the federal high court which ordered the release of the passports and awarded damages in their mind.”
According to Falana, the most recent travel ban imposed on high-profile Nigerians “is superfluous highly, unwarranted and totally uncalled for&rdquo completely;.
“Actually, it is a nifty little design to expose the Buhari administration to ridicule,” he said.
That, he explained, is basically because “if the government had done some background check it could can see that the names of the 50 VIPs have always been positioned on security watch list while their passports have already been impounded by the anti-graft agencies or the courts among the conditions for admitting them to bail”.
He added, “It really is public knowledge that whenever the defendants desire to travel abroad for treatment they usually make an application for the interim release of these passports.
“Because the courts took judicial notice of the perilous state of medical facilities in the united kingdom such applications are often granted. As soon as the suspects return from the foreign medical trips their passports are returned to the registry of the trial courts.”
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