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Saturday, 21 July 2018

Executive Order hasn’t usurped court’s powers, Presidency, AGF clarify

Executive Order hasn’t usurped court’s powers, Presidency, AGF clarify

Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami

The Presidency and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Thursday rebuffed criticisms of the Executive Order 6 on forfeiture of assets linked to ongoing corruption cases.

The Executive Order was newly issued by President Muhammadu Buhari on July 5.

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Clarifying what they tagged as the “reactions raising issues as to the legality or otherwise of the PEO”, the Presidency and the minister said the Executive Order carried the same force as any other anti-corruption law made by the National Assembly and did not amount to the usurpation of the power of the judiciary as being allegedly speculated.

In a statement signed on their behalf and sent to our correspondent on Thursday, the Special Assistant to the President on Financial Crimes (AGF Office), Mr. Abiodun Aikomo, said the “subjective opinions and arguments advanced by any group or individuals cannot determine the validity or otherwise of the PEO”.

They reiterated that the Executive Order 6 was made “to preserve suspected illicitly acquired assets from dissipation and from being available for usage, making it inimical to the fight against-corruption.”

Allaying fears that it would usurp the powers of the judiciary, they said the Executive Order would not take away the power of the judiciary to determine “who is complicit in corrupt practices”.

They also reiterated that the order was directed at relevant law enforcement agencies and did not ignore the need for them to obtain “appropriate court orders as may be necessary”.

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