The presidency has disclosed that the motive behind banning 50 high-profile Nigerians by President Muhammadu Buhari was “to make for speedy trials and conclusion of graft cases, just as it denied media reports disclosing the names of the individuals involved.
Mr Buhari had on Saturday ordered a travel ban on 50 high-profile Nigerians whose assets, valued at N50million and above, are subject of corruption investigation and litigation.
A presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, in an email response to questions by state house correspondents on Sunday, said the order, Executive Order 6, is the first of its kind in Nigeria in the fight against corruption.
“I want to confirm to you that we have not issued any list and we are not doing so.
These cases are well known and to say this or that name is on it, will open the door to further accusations, including trial by media.
“The Immìgration Service and other security agencies have the mandate of the President to carry out enforcement and they will do so, giving due respects to individual rights, in line with the constitution,” Mr Shehu said.
Reacting to the criticisms which the order had incurred, Mr Shehu said the order was not political and that “there is no political gain behind its activation.”
“These high profile cases we are talking about have been ongoing for between 7 to 10 years with no end in sight. These cases were mostly originated by administrations other than this one.
“What is clear is that the access to these resources by the suspects has enabled them to be in a position to sometime compromise investigation, prosecution and trial.
“In most of the cases, the courts are held in a helpless position by legal acrobatics paid for from corrupt enrichment by the suspects,” he said.