The plaintiffs averred that the Presidential Executive Order No. 6 is a needless and unjustifiable interference into the rights of citizens…
Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The controversy trailing the Presidential Executive Order No. 6 of 2018, issued by President Muhammadu Buhari on the preservation of assets connected with corruption and other relevant offences has taken a legal dimension, with a suit asking the Abuja division of the Federal High Court to declare it illegal and unconstitutional.
READ ALSO: Buhari’s asset forfeiture order
The suit marked FHC/ ABJ/CS/740/2018, is further seeking an order of the court setting aside or nullifying the said order, ‘as it encroached into the ownership of the assets or properties of any person without such persons being found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.’
In addition, the suit, which was brought against the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Attorney General of the Federation by Ikenga Ugochinyere and Kenneth Udeze, asked for a restraining order against the federal government from enforcing or giving any effect to the Presidential Executive Order No.6, for being unlawful, unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.
The suit, which was filed by Obed Agu on behalf of the plaintiffs, was brought pursuant to sections 5, 36,43 and 251 (1)(q) of the 1999 Constitution and order 3 rule 7 of the Federal High Court (civil procedure) rules 2009.
The plaintiffs, in the supporting affidavit, averred that the Presidential Executive Order No. 6 is a needless and unjustifiable interference into the rights of the citizens and portends grave danger to the democratic process.
They said the persons whose cases or names were listed as being affected are presently facing various criminal prosecutions in court and have not been found guilty as charged.
Abigal Audu, who deposed to the six-paragraph affidavit averred that every citizen is entitled to be accorded fair hearing before he could be convinced or made to suffer any legal disability as a result of the criminal charges against them.
It read: “…That the tenets of fair hearing also presupposes that every citizen must not be punished in advance, as in the case of the Presidential Executive Order No. 6 of 2018, even before their cases are concluded.”
Already, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, who is sitting as a vacation judge has adjourned the case to August 8, 2018, for hearing, after it was mentioned before her.