Lai Mohammed, minister of information, says executive order six signed by President Muhammadu Buhari is the government’s potent weapon against corruption.
On July 5, Buhari signed an executive order seeking to restrain owners of assets under probe from carrying out further transactions on such properties.
One week later, the senate described the order as usurpation of its power, summoning Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), to make certain clarifications on the order.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, the minister said those opposed to the order should go to court.
Mohammed said Buhari is not the first president to sign executive orders.
“The truth is that, having realised the potency of the order in giving muscle to the fight against corruption – which by the way is one of the three cardinal programmes of our administration – the corrupt and their cohorts have become jittery,” the minister said.
“They have every reason to be. Henceforth, it won’t be business as usual. For those who claim that the executive order number six is dictatorial, it is clear they have not even read it.
“Section 3 (i) of the order states that any person who alleges that his rights have been violated, are being or are likely to be contravened by any of the provision of this executive order may apply to a competent court in his jurisdiction for redress.”
Mohammed said Buhari is not the first Nigerian leader to sign an executive order, citing instances of those who did in the past.
He said said the president has the power under section 5 of the constitution has the mandate to the execute all laws made by the national assembly (including but not limited to Section 15(5) of the constitution) to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.
“In 1980, then President Shehu Shagari issued an executive order to modify the public order act. This was unsuccessfully challenged in court by then governors of Ogun and Borno states. In 1999, then President Obasanjo issued executive orders to abolish the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) and to proclaim May 29 as Democracy Day,” he said.
“George Washington, who was President of the US from 1789 to 1797, issued eight executive orders. Franklin Roosevelt (1933-1945) issued 3,522 Executive Orders; Barack Obama (2009-2017) issued 275 in eight years; Bill Clinton (1993-2001) 364 and current President Donald Trump 80 so far.”
“Recently, the US supreme court upheld, 5-4, President Trump’s indefinite ban on travel from several predominantly Muslim countries. That ban was the result of an executive order.”