By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
The recently pronounced Executive Order Number 6 is the death knell against corruption and is meant to stop allegedly corrupt persons fighting back and crippling the administration’s anti-corruption war, the Federal Government has said.
Addressing a press conference in Lagos, weekend, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, dared any critic of the measure to challenge it in court.
The Executive Order No. 6 of 2018 issued by President Muhammadu Buhari at the beginning of the month seeks to, among others, restrict the use of assets in 155 corruption cases amounting to N595 billion.
Noting the determination of the administration to stop corruption fighting back, Mohammed said: ‘’The order aims to deprive alleged criminals of the proceeds of their illicit activities, which can otherwise be employed to allure, pervert and/or intimidate the investigative and judicial processes.
‘’The truth is that, having realised the potency of the order in giving muscle to the fight against corruption, which by the way is one of the three cardinal programmes of our administration, the corrupt and their cohorts have become jittery. They have every reason to be. Henceforth, it won’t be business as usual
“For those who claim that the Executive Order Number 6 is dictatorial, it is clear they have not even read it. Section. 3 (i) of the order states that any person who alleges that his rights have been violated, are being or are likely to be contravened by any of the provision of this Executive Order may apply to a competent court in his jurisdiction for redress.”
He said President Buhari is the not the first democratically-elected Nigerian President to sign Executive Orders, adding: ‘’In 1980, then President Shehu Shagari issued an Executive Order to modify the Public Order Act. This was unsuccessfully challenged in court by then Governors of Ogun and Borno states.
“In 1999, then President Obasanjo issued Executive Orders to abolish the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) and to proclaim May 29 as Democracy Day.’’
On the constitutionality of Executive Order Number 6, Alhaji Mohammed said the President had the power, under Section 5 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which extends to the execution and maintenance of the constitution, all laws made by National Assembly.