The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has upheld the validity of the Presidential Executive Order, PEO, 6 of 2018 which provides for the interim seizure of assets linked to ongoing criminal trials and investigations.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on July 5, 2018, issued the Presidential Executive Order, which two lawyers, Ikenga Ugochinyere and Keneth Udeze, had instituted a suit before the court to challenge its validity.
Delivering judgment on Thursday, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu dismissed the suit for lacking in merit and affirmed that the President has the constitutional powers to issue the presidential order as long as it does not violate the principles of separation of powers.
According to the Punch, the judge ruled that the presidential order was issued as a policy directive for the implementation of provisions of existing laws, adding that it also recognised the right of every citizen to approach the court for redress if aggrieved by enforcement of the PEO.
She also held that the interim forfeiture of assets linked to various offences or ongoing criminal investigations could only be enforced in line with the provisions of the law and did not amount to an infringement of the rights of the affected person, who also has the right to approach the court to seek redress.