By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday in Abuja, said it was considering a legal action against President Muhammadu Buhari’s Executive Order, authorising seizure of assets acquired with stolen public funds.
PDP in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan described the order as illegal, unconstitutional, reprehensible and a dangerous step towards a descent to fascism.
The party described the asset seizure Executive Order as total disregard to the provisions of 1999 constitution.
“Already, our lawyers are considering a legal action against the Federal Government on the illegality of Mr. President’s action in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.’’
The party said that the Nigerian constitution did not, under any section, confer such fascist powers on the President under democracy.
It said that there could be no legitimate latitude of interpretation placed on sections 5 and 15 (5) of the 1999 Constitution cited as justifications for the executive order.
PDP claimed that the President’s Executive Order was a travesty of justice and rule of law “as it vehemently seeks to hijack and usurp the powers of both the legislature and the courts’’.
It added that the president also vest to take the power on himself in order to use it at will, as a political instrument, to haunt, traumatize, harass and victimize perceived political opponents.
“Mr President wants to change our democratic governance to a military regime, in line with his lamentation, two days ago, that the fight against corruption will be better under a military regime than under a democracy.
“It is instructive to emphasize that the PDP is not in any way opposed to the fight against corruption.
“Rather, the party holds that the imposition of this Executive Order, which is radically at variance with the provisions of the constitution, is totally unacceptable.
“PDP takes this Executive Order 6 of 2018 as a re-enactment of the obnoxious Decree 2 of 1984, which incidentally was also an enactment under then military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari.
“This must not be permitted in our current democratic dispensation.’’
PDP said that if the order was allowed, it would confer limitless powers on Mr President.
“In a democracy, the role of the executive arm of government is to enforce court orders or judgments handed down based on the interpretation of existing laws.
“Any suggestion to the contrary, as clearly intended by this Executive Order, is totally an aberration and inconsistent with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.’’
The party urged the judiciary and the legislature to save Nigeria by rejecting the executive order.
“Nigeria is a democratic state run by the dictates of the law and the constitution and not by the rule of the thumb of any elected officer,” it added.