Corruption: Court okays Buhari’s Executive Order 6

A lawsuit challenging the validity of Presidential Executive Order 6, which seeks to temporarily seize assets linked to corruption and related offences was quashed by the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Thursday.

The judgment effectively validated the power of the president to issue executive orders that are now eight in number.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on July 5, this year issued the order aimed at preserving assets linked with corruption and other related offences.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, who dismissed the suit filed by two lawyers for lacking in merit, held that the Presidential Executive Order was valid and does not breach the principle of separation of powers.

The Presidential Executive Order empowers the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to take steps, in liaison with relevant investigative agencies, to temporarily seize assets linked with corruption, pending the investigation and conclusion of trial to preserve such assets.

However, the two lawyers, Ikenga Ugochinyere and Kenneth Udeze, had approached the court to void the Presidential Executive Order on the grounds that it violates the rights of citizens to own property.

Delivering judgment yesterday on the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/740/2018, Justice Ojukwu, held that it was within the powers of the president, as granted by the Constitution, to issue Executive Orders for the execution of Executive policies, as long as such orders do not offend the doctrine of separation of powers.

The court in addition, held that the Executive Order 6 did not violate the right of citizens to own property, but was informed by the president’s willingness to preserve suspected property from being dissipated.

The judge, however, held that the powers given to the AGF under the Executive Order 6 must be exercised in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

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