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Withdraw Travel Ban On 50 Nigerians ‘Without Any Delay’, Falana Tells Buhari

Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria Femi Falana has faulted the decision of the Nigerian Government to ban 50 high-profile Nigerians from travelling out of the country.

In a statement on Sunday, Falana called for the immediate withdrawal of the ban, arguing that the move by the government is reminiscent of the days of military rule.

“For the umpteenth time, I am compelled to caution the Buhari administration to wage the war against the menace of corruption within the ambit of the rule of law,” he said.

“Since the 50 high-profile criminal suspects covered by EO6 (Executive Order 6) have been placed on watch list while their passports have been seized by either the anti-graft agencies or the courts, the travel ban slammed on them by President Buhari ought to be withdrawn without any delay.”

Falana’s statement is in reaction to the announcement by the Federal Government on Saturday that 50 prominent Nigerians had been placed on a watchlist and restricted from leaving the country based on Executive Order 6, which was issued by President Muhammadu Buhari in July, “pending the determination of their cases”.

A Federal High Court had in Abuja on Friday upheld the order, which, among other things, allows for the interim seizure of assets linked to investigation, ongoing criminal trials, and other related offences.

The executive order also empowers the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), in liaison with relevant investigative agencies, to temporarily seize properties linked with corruption, to prevent the dissipation of such assets.
Although the Presidency had based the decision on the validation of the EO6 by the court, Falana said the move was uncalled for.

“Sadly, the travel ban is a sad reminder of the reckless placement of political opponents on security watch list and seizure of their passports by the defunct military junta,” he said.

Explaining his position, Falana said, “In Director-General, State Security Service v Olisa Agbakoba (1999) 3 NWLR (Pt 595) 340, the Supreme Court did not hesitate to condemn the violation of the right of the respondent to freedom of movement through the seizure of his passport by the appellant.

“It was the view of the Court that the right of citizens to freedom of movement guaranteed by section 41 of the Constitution and article 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act could not be abridged or abrogated by the Executive outside the procedure permitted by law.”

The human rights lawyer also gave examples of prominent Nigerians who have been affected by such restrictions in the past and instances where the court ruled in their favour.

He said, “Apart from placing over a hundred citizens on security watch list, the passports of the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu, Mallam El-Rufai, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Mr.Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (now Emir of Kano) etc were seized without any legal justification by the Obasanjo and Jonathan regimes.

“It is on record that both El-Rufai and Sanusi successfully challenged the seizure of their passports at the federal high court which ordered the release of the passports and awarded damages to them.”

According to Falana, the latest travel ban imposed on high-profile Nigerians “is highly superfluous, completely unwarranted and totally uncalled for”.

“In fact, it is an ingenious design to expose the Buhari administration to ridicule,” he said.

That, he explained, is because “if the federal government had done some background check it would have discovered that the names of the 50 VIPs have long been placed on security watch list while their passports have been impounded by the anti-graft agencies or the courts as one of the conditions for admitting them to bail”.

He added, “It is public knowledge that whenever the defendants wish to travel abroad for medical treatment they usually apply for the interim release of their passports.

“Since the courts have taken judicial notice of the perilous state of medical facilities in the country such applications are usually granted. And once the suspects return from the foreign medical trips their passports are returned to the registry of the trial courts.”

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Boko Haram Kills Hauwa Leman, Threatens To Keep Leah Sharibu As Slave For Life

Boko Haram terrorists have killed Hauwa Leman, an aid worker with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)


                                                Hauwa Leman


Leman is one of the three humanitarian workers abducted in Rann, Kala Balge local government area of Borno state on March 1. TNC24ONLINE.COM gathered that the terrorists also vowed to keep Leah Sharibu, the Dapchi schoolgirl, as “a slave for life”


                     Leah Sharibu


One of three women abducted, Saifura Ahmed, was killed killed in September.

Hauwa Leman, had sent an audio to one of her friends, demanding that her parents be informed that she had been kidnapped.

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Travel Ban: The Presidency Have Not Released Any List Of Nigerians Affected – Garba Shehu

The Presidency has rubbished the lists making the rounds purportedly containing the names of high-profile Nigerians affected by the travel ban the Federal Government announced on Saturday.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, spoke about the issue on Sunday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

He said, “We’ve seen a number of names being circulated. We have not issued any list. We are not going to issue any list because, again, if we did so, a lot of criticism will follow. Trials by media and all sorts of things.”

Although the Presidential aide declined to mention the names any of the people affected by the travel ban, he suggested that they were no surprises to the list.

“These cases are mostly known by most Nigerians. There are cases that have been in the public domain. Most of them were never really instituted by this administration. They go back seven to 10 years,” he said.

Mr Shehu had announced the decision of the Federal Government in a statement on Saturday, one day after a Federal High Court in Abuja upheld President Muhammadu Buhari’s Executive Order 6.

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By Nneka Torti on October 8, 2018
The former Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe has reacted to the emergence of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 general elections.

Atiku scored 1532 votes to defeat his closest opponent, Aminu Tambuwal, who polled 693 votes and Bukola Saraki at 317votes.

Okupe, who is the Chairman, Media Committee of Abubakar Bukola Saraki Presidential Campaign, in a post on his official Twitter page said Atiku defeated other aspirants because of his plans for restructuring.

He noted that Atiku’s declaration as PDP Presidential candidate was a deserved victory owing to his advocacy for restructuring.

Okupe wrote: “Atiku won a deserved victory. It was not just about money rather it was a victory for restructuring.
Atiku’s advocacy and commitment were believed by leaders of South West, South East and South South, hence the massive support by their delegates.”.

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