Reactions has been trailing the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari for the full execution of Executive Order 6, EO6, which not only ban 50 prominent Nigerians from travelling abroad but also seeks to confiscate their assets currently under investigation. With groups and individuals describing it as unconstitutional and illegal.
A human rights group, the Socio – Economic Rights and Accountability Project(SERAP) has described the Federal government’s travel ban on 50 high profile Nigerians as illegal. A statement by SERAP’s deputy director, Timothy Adewale, says the order breaches constitutional rights which protects the rights to freedom and movement to leave one’s country, to privacy and to due process of law. SERAP urges that the travel ban will undermine the Federal government’s commitment to fight corruption.
Similarly, a human Rights Lawyer in Rivers state, Higher King described the move as a total infringement of human and fundamental rights of the people. Barr. Higher King said the federal government has no right to restrict the movement of any Nigerian. He said, it’s a fundamental breach of right. He also stated that he doesn’t think the court has the right to outrightly restrict a person from travelling, rather the court would at most seize a person’s passport instead of expressly asking the person not to travel abroad.
Also, presidential candidate of The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has joined in criticizing president Buhari for Banning 50 high prominent Nigerians from travelling outside the country. In a statement released by his campaign organization, Atiku Abubakar said the ban is similar to decree No. 2 of 1994.
In the same vein, former aviation minister, Femi Fani Kayode and former aide to President Goodluck Johnathan, Rene Omokri, also frowned at the order.
On his part, Human rights activist and constitutional lawyer, Mike Ozekhome condemned the directive of president Muhammadu Buhari for the full execution of the order 6. He said, “EO 6 violates the doctrine of separation of powers, the 1999 Constitution, the rule of law and all tenets of constitutional democracy. “It is highhanded, obnoxious, barbaric and arbitrary. It violently erodes the hallowed fundamental rights that are inalienable and God-given. It seeks to strike terror and fear in the minds of Nigerians, especially the opposition and critical voices.”
The Nigeria Immigration Service and other security agencies have been directed to place the 50 persons on their watch-list, pending the determination of their corruption cases.