Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, says the travel ban positioned on 50 high-profile Nigerians by President Muhammadu Buhari ought to be withdrawn “without the delay”.
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In a statement on Sunday, Falana said the directive that is backed by an executive order signed by the elected president can be an “ingenious design to expose the Buhari administration to ridicule”.
He said the executive arm of government isn’t empowered beneath the law to restrict the movement of criminal suspects.
Falana said only the anti-corruption courts and agencies have the proper to restrict movement of people under investigation.
The senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) cited various instances during the past where top government officials along with other prominent individuals, including himself, were positioned on watch lists by the ruling government.
He said a credit card applicatoin for interim release of passports by a lot of people under trial is normally granted for medical reasons, apart from “indigent accused persons standing trial for stealing, fraud or other economic crimes in Nigerian courts”.
“Sadly, the travel ban is really a sad reminder of the reckless keeping political opponents on security watch list and seizure of these passports by the defunct military junta,” he said.
“Notwithstanding such judicial indictment of politically exposed persons seeking treatment during trial regulations have not authorised the Executive to restrict the movement of criminal suspects.
“The energy of the anti graft agencies and the courts to put criminal suspects on watch list or subject their passports to temporary seizure hasn’t experienced doubt.
“Compared to that extent, the directive to put the 50 visible suspected persons on watch list and restrict their movement is highly superfluous, unwarranted and totally uncalled for completely.
“Actually, it is a nifty little design to expose the Buhari administration to ridicule.
“If the government had done some background check it could can see that the names of the 50 VIPs have always been positioned on security watch list while their passports have already been impounded by the anti graft agencies or the courts among the conditions for admitting them to bail.
“For the umpteenth time, I’m compelled to caution the Buhari administration to wage the war contrary to the menace of corruption within the ambit of the rule of law.
“Because the 50 visible criminal suspects included in EO6 have already been positioned on watch list while their passports have already been seized by either the anti graft agencies or the courts the travel ban slammed in it by President Buhari should be withdrawn without the delay.” YOU MIGHT ENJOY READING