Human rights activist and constitutional lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s Executive Order 6 as an arbitrary and obnoxious act capable of undermining the fundamental rights of the affected persons.
Ozekhome on Sunday condemned the directive of the President for the full execution of the Executive Order.
According to him, “EO 6 violates the doctrine of separation of powers, the 1999 Constitution, the rule of law and all tenets of constitutional democracy.
“It is highhanded, obnoxious, barbaric and arbitrary. It violently erodes the hallowed fundamental rights that are inalienable and God-given. It seeks to strike terror and fear in the minds of Nigerians, especially the opposition and critical voices.”
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria and firm critic of the All Progressives Congress, APC-led administration added that the EO6 seeks to “usurp the functions of a court of law and the National Assembly that has already promulgated the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Related Commission, ICPC and the Money Laundering Acts,all of which allow for interim forfeiture and attachment of citizens’ money and properties,but with an order of a court of law.”
While insisting that the order may not in itself be wrong, the process of its implementation, he argued but not violates the provision of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“That was what Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu said in her judgement. She made it clear that although Executive Order 6 was not itself wrong,but that the Attorney General of the Federation must first obtain an order of court under section 174 of the Constitution,and that the enforcement of the order must never derogate from the rule of law,or derogate from the doctrine of separation of powers,or the fundamental rights of Nigerians.
“No one has ever doubted the legality of Executive Orders,which are regularly issued by American Presidents,wherefrom we borrowed our Presidential system but same must conform with laid down procedure,due process, citizens’ rights and the rule of law.”