Falana to Buhari: Withdraw travel ban on 50 Nigerians without any delay

Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria Femi Falana has faulted the decision of the Nigerian Government to ban 50 high-profile Nigerians from travelling out of the country.

In a statement on Sunday, Falana called for the immediate withdrawal of the ban, arguing that the move by the government is reminiscent of the days of military rule.

“For the umpteenth time, I am compelled to caution the Buhari administration to wage the war against the menace of corruption within the ambit of the rule of law,” he said.

“Since the 50 high-profile criminal suspects covered by EO6 (Executive Order 6) have been placed on watch list while their passports have been seized by either the anti-graft agencies or the courts, the travel ban slammed on them by President Buhari ought to be withdrawn without any delay.”

Falana’s statement is in reaction to the announcement by the Federal Government on Saturday that 50 prominent Nigerians had been placed on a watchlist and restricted from leaving the country based on Executive Order 6, which was issued by President Muhammadu Buhari in July, “pending the determination of their cases”.

A Federal High Court had in Abuja on Friday upheld the order, which, among other things, allows for the interim seizure of assets linked to investigation, ongoing criminal trials, and other related offences.

The executive order 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.

Although the Presidency had based the decision on the validation of the EO6 by the court, Falana said the move was uncalled for.

“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.

News Category: