Saturday, 7 July 2018

PDP Labels Buhari’s Executive Order No.6 Unconstitutional

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described as unconstitutional and a dangerous step towards a descent to fascism, the asset seizure Executive Order signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.

The party noted that the Nigerian constitution does not, under any section, confer such “fascist” powers on the President under the nation’s democracy, stressing that no legitimate latitude of interpretation placed on sections 5 and 15 (5) of the 1999 Constitution cited as justifications for this executive order, would be acceptable to Nigerians.

In a statement signed by the party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said “President Buhari’s unilateral Executive Order is a travesty of justice and rule of law, as it vehemently seeks to hijack and usurp the powers of both the legislature and the courts and vest it on himself so that he can use same at will, as a political instrument, to haunt, traumatize, harass and victimize perceived political opponents.”

It accused President Buhari of deliberate intent “to change our democratic governance to a military regime, in line with his lamentation, two days ago, that the fight against corruption will be better under a military regime than under a democracy.”

While reiterating its support for the fight against corruption, the party added however that the fight and its instrument must comply with the laws of the land as provided in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“PDP takes this Executive Order 6 of 2018 as a re-enactment of the obnoxious Decree 2 of 1984, which incidentally was also an enactment under then military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, and this must not be permitted in our current democratic dispensation.

“If allowed, this Order will confer limitless powers on Mr. President, whose administration’s penchant for violation of rules and order already suggests a readiness for autocracy and a drive towards fascism.

“In a democracy, the role of the executive arm of government is to enforce court orders/judgments handed down based on the interpretation of existing laws. Any suggestion to the contrary, as clearly intended by this Executive Order, is totally an aberration and inconsistent with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the party noted.

President Buhari on Thursday signed Executive Order No. 6 of 2018 to inter alia “restrict dealings in suspicious assets subject to investigation or inquiry bordering on corruption in order 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 the Federal Republic of Nigeria and against the overall interest of justice and the welfare of the Nigerian State.”

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