- The House of Representatives is taking steps to to amend the Currency Conversion (Freezing Orders) Act, 2004 to remove the power of the president on assets forfeiture
- According to Yakubu Dogara, the move will deepen democracy
- He also said the move will give all arms of government the chance to perform their duties without undue interference
Lawmakers at the House of Representatives have revealed why the legislature plans to strip the president of his power to order forfeiture of assets of individuals facing criminal charges.
The speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said the move by the lawmakers would deepen democracy and give all arms of government the chance to perform their duties without undue interference.
Speaking at the opening of a public hearing on the bill seeking to amend the “Currency Conversion (Freezing Orders) Act, 2004” at the National Assembly, Dogara said it is essential in order to ensure that the course of justice is protected in the Nigerian socio-economic space.
Punch reports that the speaker said: "The discretionary powers being sought for the judge of the high court; it is essential in order to ensure that the course of justice is protected in the Nigerian socio-economic space.
“Currently, the powers for forfeiture are vested in the President, which invariably usurps the prerogative of the judiciary to adjudicate and give ruling among others.
“For democracy to be truly deepened, all the three arms of government need to be deepened to effectively perform their constitutional responsibilities."
Also, the Central Bank of Nigeria and other financial operators supporting the bill called for its speedy passage.
The deputy director of CBN, Adedeji Lawal, suggested that the bill should be further amended to allow the court forward any forfeiture orders to the CBN governor in writing for implementation.
Lawmakers, however, said that appealing to the judge to communicate the order in writing to the governor was not necessary as it could amount to meddling in court proceedings.
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Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that President Muhammadu Buhari had signed an executive order on the preservation of suspicious assets connected with corruption.
The president signed the document at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday, July 5.
The order seeks to rid individuals facing criminal charges in Nigeria of their assets.
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