Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, yesterday said that the implementation of Executive Order 6 signed by President Buhari, has nothing to do with 2019 general elections.
The Minister gave the clarification when he spoke at the Chatham House, a UK-based Royal Institute of International Affairs chaired by Dr Alex Vines (OMR), today October 17th.
After his presentation at the house titled “Nigeria’s National Unity: Towards Participation and Shared Values”, Lai Mohammed stressed that the Order was to strengthen the anti-corruption fight of the administration and not to witch-hunt any political opponents. He noted that the Order was being misconstrued by naysayers and those who were beneficiaries of the past corruption laden regimes.
“The facts are very simple. Sometimes in July, the President, in the exercise of his constitutional powers signed the Executive Order 6 to strengthen the anti-corruption fight. In that order, the various corruption cases being investigated were listed and appendix. As soon as the Order was proclaimed, some people went to court to challenge it. Because of the pending case, the government suspended its implementation. But last week, the court ruled in favour of government and the government said that it is time to start its implementation” he said.
The minister said that the Order was not about travel ban on identified 50 Nigerians and political oppositions as reported.
“The government believed that you cannot fight corruption, if you allow the perpetrators of corruption to use the proceeds to compromise investigation or and its outcome. What the Order says is that if someone is alleged to have used the proceed of corruption to buy a house, that person will not be allowed to dispose of the property, travel during the time if trial or do anything that will destroy the outcome o the case,” he said.
The minister noted that many of the listed corruption cases in the Order were instituted by previous administrations and inherited by the present government. He said that some of the cases dated back to between 2006 to 2015, when 55 Nigerians allegedly embezzles N1.3 trillion.