*Says it didn’t release names of 50 persons banned from travelling
*The Presidency has not released any list and won’t do so – Shehu
*Says people on the list know themselves
*’Order in right direction, those having no cases should not be afraid’
*All corrupt people regardless of parties should be affected – Respondent
*It shows Buhari has taken anti-corruption fight the next level – Respondent
The Presidency Sunday refuted report that it released names of the 50 persons placed on travel ban over corruption cases, adding that it would not be pushed by the reported fake list to eventually releasing the names as, according to the nation’s apex corridor of powers, people affected know themselves.
The Federal Government had on Saturday announced the banning of 50 high profile persons from traveling abroad over corruption cases. The ban was sequel to the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari for the full implementation of Executive Order 6
The DEFENDER did not report names of affected persons in the statement announcing the ban although names have been flying around through some other media particularly the social media whereby name of a dead man and Director-General of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate’s Campaign Organisation and former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel were among a purported list.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said the Presidency has not released any list and won’t do so.
“On the so-called list you asked for confirmation, I want to confirm to you that we have not issued any list and we are not doing so,” he said.
Describing the Executive Order as revolutionary, he said its very essence was to make for speedy trials and conclusion of graft cases in the country.
“These high profile cases we are talking about have been ongoing for between seven to 10 years with no end in sight. These case 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 composition 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.
He said the new measures put in place should compel everyone involved to make for a speedy conclusion of the cases.
“If it is your money, you have it back. If it belongs to the public, it goes back to the treasury,” he said.
He said the question of the constitutionality of the restriction order was answered by the fact that a court of the land has given government a clean chit.
“The Executive Order is legal and constitutional and therefore implementable. One of the cardinal objectives of the government under our constitution is to fight corruption. Fighting corruption is a responsibility and obligation upon the government.
“The Immigration 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,” he said.
In the meantime, some Nigerians who reacted to the Executive Order 6 said it was a decision in the right direction but that all corrupt people must be brought to book regardless of their political leanings.
One of them said the order coming at this time simply showed that President Muhammadu Buhari has taken the anti-corruption fight to the next level and therefore that, it was highly commendable.