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Executive Order 6: Dele Belgore, Saadu Alanamu on travel ban list

 

By Kayode Adeoti

Two prominent Kwarans; Mohammed Dele Belgore SAN and former chairman of Kwara State Polytechnic Governing Council, Dr Saadu Koroagba Alanamu have been listed among 50 Nigerians slammed with travel ban by President Muhammadu Buhari, National Pilot can report.
The restriction came on the heels of directive by the President for the full implementation of Executive Order 6 against those that have corruption allegations pending in court.
Recall that Alanamu, who is standing trial in a case no: KWS/56C/2016 before justice Mahmud AbdulGafar of the Kwara State High Court was alleged to have collected N5million bribe from the Director of Namylas Nigeria Limited, Salman Sulaiman, as a softener for the award of a contract.
Belgore, a Kwara governorship candidate in 2011, was also standing trial before a Federal Capital Territory Judge in a suit no: FHC/L/135C/2017 over an alleged embezzlement of N450million 2015 campaign fund.
When contacted by this medium over the issue yesterday night, the duo refused to picks their calls and text messages sent to their mobile lines were not equally acknowledged as at the time this paper wet to bed.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Immigration Service and other security agencies have been directed to place the two Kwara indigenes and 48 others on their watch-list, pending the determination of their corruption cases.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, in a statement, said following the instant judicial affirmation of the constitutionality and legality of the Executive Order 6 (EO6), President Buhari has mandated the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to implement the Order in full force.
“To this end, a number of enforcement procedures are currently in place by which the Nigeria Immigration Service and other security agencies have placed no fewer than 50 high-profile persons directly affected by EO6 on watch-list and restricted them from leaving the county pending the determination of their cases,” he said.
He said the financial transactions of these persons of interest are being monitored by the relevant agencies to ensure that the assets are not dissipated and such persons do not interfere with, or corrupt the investigation and litigation processes.
“It is instructive to note that EO6 was specifically directed to relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that all assets within a minimum value of N50 million or equivalent, subject to investigation or litigation are protected from dissipation by employing all available lawful means, pending the final determination of any corruption-related matter,” he said.
He said the Buhari administration reassures all well-meaning and patriotic Nigerians of its commitment to the fight against corruption, in accordance with the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the general principles of the Rule of Law.
“Accordingly, this administration will uphold the rule of law in all its actions and the right of citizens would be protected as guaranteed by the Constitution.
“We, therefore, enjoin all Nigerians to cooperate with the law enforcement authorities towards ensuring a successful implementation of the Executive Order 6 which is a paradigm-changing policy of the Federal Government in the fight against corruption,” he said.
It would be recalled that President Buhari had while signing the Executive Order 6 last July declared a state of emergency on corruption.
Other notable name included in the list is the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, among several others.


OBJ, IBB, Atiku, Saraki real targets – Ex-APC chieftain

Former deputy national Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has stated that former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, are the major targets of the Executive Order 06 now being implemented by President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Other names Frank mentioned include Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, General Aliyu Gusau, Gen. TY Danjuma, Pastor David Oyedepo, Rev Fr Mathew Hassan Kuka, Sheik Gumi and so many other traditional rulers, businessmen and women sympathetic to the emergence of Abubakar in the 2019 elections.
In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, Frank, while reacting to the implementation of the Executive Order 06 banning about 50 high-profile Nigerians from travelling abroad described it as “a reminiscent of the infamous and draconian Decree No. 4 of 1984 which was cruelly pursued and enforced by the incumbent President who was then the Military Head of State.”
Frank said it is obvious that the main purpose of the said EO6 is to weaken the leaders of opposition political parties ahead of the 2019 general elections.
According to him, the ealier list released to the media was a distraction from the real targets which he assured will soon be made public.
He, however, warned that unless the international community and well meaning Nigerians speak up now against acts of dictatorship of the Buhari administration, democracy in Nigeria may soon end.
According to Frank, the ruling APC has been rattled with the rising popularity of Abubakar, hence its resort to autocratic tactics to cripple the opposition leaders in the guise of fighting corruption.
While assuring that Nigerians will resist what he called the tyrannical-governance-style of President Buhari, Frank alerted the international community of “plot to truncate democratic system of government in Nigeria by the APC’s administration.”
The former APC spokesman who described the latest order as a “draconian measure to frighten the opposition elements from challenging him in the coming election, stated that if care is not taken the action of the president might engineer the military to takeover power.
“Unknown to gullible ones, President Buhari is playing godfather to corrupt people in his administration. For Nigerians to take this order serious, I hope the ban will include Adams Oshiomhole, Rotimi Amaechi, former SGF Babachir Lawal, Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, his former Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun, Lai Muhammed, former DSS boss Lawal Daura, GMD of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru and the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu – for skipping the mandatory NYSC service – among others.
“I also hope President Buhari will explain to Nigerians how his wife got N2.6billion that was stolen by her ADC.”


Buhari under fire for excluding some names

President Muhammadu Buhari has come under severe attack for not including some names in the list of high profile politicians on travel ban.
On Saturday, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, announced that at least 50 Nigerians being probed for alleged corruption have been banned from leaving the country.
Reacting to the travel ban, yesterday, Reno Omokri, a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, launched attack on President Buhari saying names such as Babachir Lawal and Abdulrasheed Maina should be on the list.
He also wondered why the aide to wife of the President who allegedly made away with N2.5 billion and a former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva were not mentioned.
In a series of tweet, yesterday, Omokri said, “I just read Buhari’s travel ban list of 50 people that allegedly stole above 50 million.
“Babachir Lawal’s name is not there although it is confirmed he stole N200 million. Maina, the Buhari financier, who stole N13 billion is not there. It is a political hit list!
“@aishambuhari’s ADC who stole N2.5 billion isn’t on Buhari’s travel ban.
“Timipre Sylvia, to whom @officialEFCC returned 48 houses seized from him, isn’t there.
“Gbenga Daniel, DG of @Atiku campaign, is there. The list is a ploy to persecute @MBuhari’s political foes.”
Also, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, in a statement issued by his campaign organisation, said the ban is a throwback to the notorious “evil decree two” of 1984 enacted by the military government under Buhari.
He said the ban is a clampdown on citizens’ fundamental rights.
“We must be unequivocal in saying that we abhor any act of criminality, financially or otherwise, but the rule of law must be our guide at all times or society will descend to anarchy.
“Thus, we find it most undemocratic that in a nation governed by the rule of law, a President who swore an oath to abide by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, does this.
“The Nigerian Constitution guarantees every Nigerian citizen freedom of movement and freedom of association. This Constitutional right cannot be taken away except by a court order,” the statement read.
The Atiku campaign organisation asked the Buhari administration to go to court if it wants to curtail the rights of Nigerians as anything short of this is unconstitutional and extrajudicial.
Similarly, Human Rights lawyer, Femi Falana, said the ban will expose the Federal Government to ridicule even as he called for its withdrawal without any delay.
Falana said the executive arm of government is not empowered under the law to restrict the movement of criminal suspects.
He added that only the anti-corruption agencies and courts have the right to restrict movement of individuals under investigation.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) cited various instances in the past where top government officials and other prominent individuals, including himself, were placed on watch lists by the ruling government.
He said an application for interim release of passports by some individuals under trial is usually granted for medical reasons, with the exception of “indigent accused persons standing trial for stealing, fraud or other economic crimes in Nigerian courts”.
“Sadly, the travel ban is a sad reminder of the reckless placement of political opponents on security watch list and seizure of their passports by the defunct military junta,” he said.


…SERAP to FG: Ban’ll sabotage war against corruption

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has criticised the banning order of 50 prominent Nigerians suspected of corruption from travelling abroad.
SERAP described the order as arbitrary, repressive and illegal.
The group said the Federal Government is playing, “Right into the hands of high-profile corrupt officials” by imposing a travel ban on anyone without following due process of law.
According to SERAP, the ban is a “breach of constitutional rights and the country’s international obligations, which protect the rights to freedom of movement, to leave one’s country, to privacy, and to due process of law”.
“A travel ban by its nature is an interference with the right to leave one’s country. It is neither necessary nor proportionate to prevent dissipation of stolen assets or stop politically exposed persons (PEPs) from tampering with any such assets. The ban should be immediately lifted and the order rescinded,” SERAP Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, said in a statement.
“Rather than performing its declared objective of preventing dissipation of stolen assets, the travel ban would seriously undermine the government’s expressed commitment to combat grand corruption and violate the country’s international human rights obligations. The travel ban will play right into the hands of high-profile corrupt officials by feeding into the narrative that the fight against corruption is targeted only at political opponents.
“The travel ban will also strain the government’s relationships with partner countries, on whom it will inevitably rely for vital asset recovery cooperation, undermining the effort to bring them closer. By alienating these partners, the government could lose access to important information and mutual legal assistance necessary to effectively recover stolen assets and bring corrupt officials to justice.
“Judicial affirmation of the legality of the Executive Order 6 doesn’t grant the government arbitrary powers to impose travel ban on anyone without following due process of law. Rather than imposing a travel ban, the authorities should take advantage of the provisions of the UN Convention against Corruption to seek mutual legal assistance with countries where investigations and litigation are ongoing by requesting them to apply preventive measures regarding assets covered by the travel ban.”
It added that the authorities should also widely publish the names of the 50 Nigerians suspected to be involved, and submit those names to the countries/embassies of countries where the stolen assets are stashed.
Similarly, a prominent Non-Governmental Organisation, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has described the decision as a primitive resort to political witch-hunt and vendetta.
HURIWA said that the Nigerian Constitution in section 36 has clearly indicated that even when a citizen is charged before a competent court of law the said individual is presumed innocent in the eye of the law until contrary determination is reached.
HURIWA lampooned Buhari “for the erroneous interpretation of the ruling of the Federal High Court which validated his power to make general policy frameworks on the fight against corruption subject to the order of the competent court of law.”
The rights group reminded the President that the court couldn’t have unilaterally overruled or nullified the relevant sections of the Constitution which are directly related to the constitutionally guaranteed freedoms such as right to freedom of movement and other constitutional guaranteed right to fair hearing and the Constitutional presumption of innocence as clearly provided for in the extant constitution which remains the supreme law of Nigeria.


…dead judge among Nigerians banned from travelling abroad

The Federal Government has included a dead person on its list of Nigerians banned from travelling abroad, according to the unconfirmed list published by The Nation.
On Saturday, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, announced that at least 50 Nigerians being probed for alleged corruption have been banned from leaving the country.
He had said the action was to the effect of the executive order six recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The watch-list and restriction were put in place pending the conclusion of the cases against those affected.
Surprisingly, among these Nigerians placed on ban is Innocent Umezulike, former chief judge of Enugu State who has been deceased since June.
Interestingly, Umezulike passed away even before the executive order in question was signed by the president in July.
The late judge, who was arraigned in 2017 for alleged corruption, was laid to rest in September.
The FG had committed a similar gaffe in December when it appointed five dead persons into various boards of government agencies and parastatals.
The former governors barred from leaving the country are: Saminu Turaki (Jigawa), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Adebayo Alao-Akala (Oyo), Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Rasheed Ladoja (Oyo), Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia), Danjuma Goje (Gombe), Attahiru Bafarawa (Sokoto), Muazu Babangida Aliyu (Niger); Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu); Sule Lamido (Jigawa); Gbenga Daniel (Ogun); and Ibrahim Shehu Shema (Katsina). The affected governors belong to both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Also, on the list is the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), two female former ministers , Nenadi Usman and Jumoke Akinjide also made the list, along with Bashir Yuguda, Bala Mohammed; Abba Moro; Femi Fani-Kayode and Ahmadu Fintiri.

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