The Presidency on Sunday night cleared the air on the travel ban slammed on about 50 high-profile Nigerians suspected to have been directly involved in corrupt practices.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, had disclosed that no fewer than 50 persons have been placed on a travel ban by the administration.
Shehu also disclosed that those on the watch list were not allowed to sell their assets worth 50 million.
But on Sunday night, Shehu issued another statement where he explained that the Executive Order 6 was inherited from the past administration.
He explained that the EO6 came into force for speedy trial of graft cases.
The statement read, ”In the history of independent Nigeria, this is the first time any government is taking such a key decision to fight corruption. EO 6 is not only revolutionary to the efforts to rid Nigeria of corruption but a manifestation of systemic changes that are required to to make necessary adjustments as we carry on with the war against corruption.
“The very essence of the order is to make for speedy trials and conclusion of graft cases. The order is not Politici and there is political gain behind its activation
“These high profile cases we are talking about have been ongoing for between seven to 10 years with no end in sight. These case were mostly originated by administrations other than this one.
“What is clear is that the access to these resources by the suspects has enabled them to be in a composition to sometime compromise investigation, prosecution and trial.
“In most of the cases, the courts are held in a helpless position by legal acrobatics paid for from corrupt enrichment by the suspects.”
Shehu stated that the new measures put in place should compel everyone involved to make for a speedy conclusion of all graft cases.
“If it is your money, you have it back. If it belongs to the public, it goes back to the treasury. The question of the constitutionality of the restriction order is answered by the fact that a court of the land has given government a clean chit.
“The Executive Order is legal and constitutional and therefore implementable. One of the cardinal objectives of the government under our constitution is to fight corruption.
“Fighting corruption is a responsibility and obligation upon the government.
“These case that are well known and to to say this or that name is on it will open the door to further accusations, including trial by media.
“The Immìgration Service and other security agencies have the mandate of the President to carry out enforcement and they will do so giving due respects to individual rights, in line with the the constitution,” the statement added.