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Buhari signs executive order on suspicious assets

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President Muhammadu Buhari PHOTO: BAYO OMOBORIOWO

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday signed an Executive Order on the Preservation of Assets Connected with Serious Corruption and Other Relevant Offences.

The Executive Order No. 6 of 2018 is aimed to restrict dealings in suspicious assets subject to investigation or inquiry bordering on corruption to preserve such assets from dissipation, and 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 or for acts of terrorism, financing of terrorism, kidnapping, sponsorship of ethnic or religious violence, economic sabotage and cases of economic and financial crimes, including acts contributing to the economic adversity of Nigeria and against the overall interest of justice and the welfare of the Nigerian State.

He signed the document at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, in the presence of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Ministers of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, Agriculture (Audu Ogbeh) and Interior (Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazzau (rtd) and Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, among other high-profile government functionaries.

Buhari, who warned that institutions, agencies and individuals must own the fight to reverse the negative culture of pilfering public funds, or risk plunging the country into turmoil, said the occasion was another milestone in the fight against graft in the country, a project, he said, was crucial to the viability and continuous well-being of Nigeria.

He said his administration had kept with its promises to fight corruption, tackle insecurity and revamp the economy, saying that it will remain committed until Nigeria triumphs over the evil of corruption, attain a prosperous economic status and surmounts all her security challenges.

In another development, the Federal Government has said that the guidelines for effective implementation of the Presidential Executive Order 5 will be ready soon.

Minister for Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, disclosed this yesterday at the extra-ordinary general meeting of the Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria.

Adamu, who is also a member of the Technical and Guideline Committee on the Order, stated that implementation ought to have started since February except for the guidelines, which were to clear likely ambiguities on the operations of the Order.

Buhari had in February signed the said Executive Order 5 with the intention of improving local content in science, engineering and technology procurement.

The minister expressed the need for local engineers to play prominent role in all construction projects, stressing that they have the capacity to compete with expatriates.

He said with the order, Nigerian engineers would consequently be in charge of their home affairs and grow with time.

Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who also spoke at the event, said Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have no option than to comply with the order.


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