The presidential flag-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has condemned the travel ban placed on 50 Nigerians through the Executive Order 6.
Mr Abubakar believes the action negates the Constitution which President Buhari swore to protect when he took the oath of office in 2015 and could also throw the country into anarchy.
He said this through a statement issued by his campaign organisation on Sunday.
“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,” the statement read.
It further stated that that constitutional right cannot be taken away except by a court order.
“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.
“If the Buhari administration wants to curtail the rights of Nigerians, then they must go to court and obtain a court order. Anything short of this is unconstitutional and extrajudicial,” the statement read.
Atiku also took a swipe at the Federal Government for allegedly including the name of the late former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Innocent Umezulike, on the travel ban list.
The statement read, “To show how clueless this administration is, it included late former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Innocent Umezulike as number 30 on its travel ban list, the question Nigerians should ask is this: can an administration that is unable to distinguish between the living and the dead bring life to Nigeria’s economy?”.
The Federal Government has, however, denied issuing any list.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, spoke about the issue on Sunday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
He said, “We’ve seen a number of names being circulated. We have not issued any list. We are not going to issue any list because, again, if we did so, a lot of criticism will follow. Trials by media and all sorts of things.”
Mr Shehu had announced the decision of the Federal Government in a statement on Saturday, one day after a Federal High Court in Abuja upheld President Muhammadu Buhari’s Executive Order 6.
The order, among other things, allows for the interim seizure of assets linked to investigation, ongoing criminal trials, and other related offences.
It also empowers the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), in liaison with relevant investigative agencies, to temporarily seize properties linked with corruption, to prevent the dissipation of such assets.
Following the enforcement of the order, 50 high profile persons were placed on a watch-list and restricted them from leaving the country pending the determination of their cases.