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HURIWA flays Federal Government over executive order on assets, says it’s unconstitutional

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Emmanuel Onwubiko, National Co-ordinator OF HURIWA

A pro-democracy and non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has described the recently-signed executive order by President Muhammadu Buhari on assets seized in connection with corruption as unconstitutional and being targeted at opposition political office seekers.

The group said it would institute a case at the Federal High Court to seek nullification.

In a statement jointly signed by its National Co-ordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, the rights group said: “We in the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) believe that the executive order is simply an exercise in futility because it’s inherently unconstitutional and is a political gambit to cripple political opponents because of 2019 elections.

“Under the constitutional democracy in practice in Nigeria as clearly provided for in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended, sections 4, 5 and 6 have clearly demarcated the constitutional powers of each arm of government with Section 4 ceding the power of lawmaking to the National Assembly and state assemblies.

“Section 6 gives the judicial powers of the federation on the courts of competent jurisdiction. The President cannot exercise the power that is not donated to his office by the Constitution.”

HURIWA said the so-called executive order contains several provisions regarding temporary or permanent forfeiture and how the forfeited assets have to be administered transparently but the power to grant such temporary or permanent forfeiture belongs to the courts of competent jurisdiction because that is the forum for the interpretation of the laws.

It added that the executive arm of government would be committing outrageous illegality if allowed to just wake up and sign executive order that purports to seize the power already domiciled in the constitution.

“The government of President Muhammadu Buhari cannot hide under the guise of declaration of state of emergency on corruption and deprive a citizen of his/her protected and guaranteed right.

“Only the court has this kind of power and the accused must be guaranteed fair-hearing.


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