By KAYODE OGUNWALE
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday signed into law an Executive Order aimed at seizing assets of corrupt persons and institutions in Nigeria.
This is coming a day after he disclosed that he would take steps to make the anti-corruption war more effective.
The order also targets specific politically exposed persons who are currently being tried in courts for corruption.
Buhari said he had chosen to sign the order because of the necessity to stop owners of such assets from further using their proceeds to pervert the cause of Justice. According to him, the order will serve as a platform for counter-attack.
According to him, “It has thus become necessary to re-kit and re-tool our arsenal to be able to effectively tackle corruption’s perilous counter-attack against the Nigerian State.
Accordingly, the Federal Government of Nigeria has declared a national emergency to deal with that crisis. In this regard, the Federal Government of Nigeria in line with its anti-corruption strategy seeks to ensure that the ends of justice is not defeated or compromised by persons involved in a case or complaint of corruption.
“It is in consequence of this that I have decided to issue the Executive Order No. 6 of 2018 to inter alia restrict dealings in suspicious assets subject to investigation or inquiry bordering on corruption in order to preserve such assets from dissipation, and to deprive alleged criminals of the proceeds of their illicit activities which can otherwise be employed to allure, pervert and/or intimidate the investigative and judicial processes or for acts of terrorism, financing of terrorism, kidnapping, sponsorship of ethnic or religious violence, economic sabotage and cases of economic and financial crimes, including acts contributing to the economic adversity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and against the overall interest of justice and the welfare of the Nigerian State.”