A Federal High Court in Abuja, Thursday, dismissed a suit challenging the constitutionality of the Executive Order 6 signed recently by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Order is for the preservation of assets connected with corruption and other relates offences.
The Order empowers the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to take steps, in liaison with relevant investigative agencies, to temporarily seize property linked with corruption pending investigation and conclusion of trial to prevent the dissipation of such assets.
In a judgment on Thursday, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu held that it was within the powers of the President, as granted by the Constitution, to issue Executive Orders for the execution of Executive policies, as long as such orders do not offend the doctrine of separation of powers.
Justice Ojukwu said the powers given to the AGF under the Executive Order 6 must be exercised in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
The judge, who noted that the Order seemed to give the AGF the discretion on when to seek court’s permission to seize any suspected property, said the AGF must, at all times, obtain a court order before seizing any asset.
She said such application for the court’s permission to seize any suspected asset could be made ex-parte.
Justice Ojukwu said the Executive Order 6 did not violate the right of citizens to own property, but was informed by the President’s willingness to preserve suspected property from being dissipated.
The judgment was on a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/740/2018, by some individuals, who claimed to be lawyers, and who argued that Executive Order 6 violate their rights to own property and denied fair hearing to owners of any property against which the Order is executed.