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E06: Legal battle shifts to Appeal Court

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Court fixes April 30 To Deliver Judgment in FG’s Suit against Agip

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has been urged to set aside the October 11, 2018 judgement of the Federal High Court, Abuja upholding the constitutionality of the Presidential Executive Order 6.

The Order empowers the Federal Government to take steps, in liaison with relevant investigative agencies, to temporarily seize property linked with corruption pending investigation and conclusion of trial to prevent the dissipation of such assets.

In a judgment on October 11, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja held that it was within the powers of the President, as granted by the Constitution, to issue Executive Orders for the execution of Executive policies, as long as such orders do not offend the doctrine of separation of powers.

In a notice of appeal, plaintiffs in the suit, Kenneth Udeze and Ikenga Ugochinyere faulted the decision by Justice Ojukwu.

They have also filed a motion of injunction pending appeal, with which they seek to restrain the President and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) or their agents from giving effect to the Executive Order No 6, pending the determination appeal filed yesterday.

In the notice of appeal, they argued that the Justice Ojukwu erred in law and thereby occasioned a miscarriage of justice when she found that the Executive Order No. 6 of 2018 did not violate the rights of citizens to own property and that the Judge erred in law also when she unilaterally varied and modified the express terms of Executive Order No. 6 by issuing judicial caution, that the powers of the AGF must be exercised in accordance with the provisions of the constitution, instead of nullifying the Executive Order.

They argued that the lower court does not have the powers to issue advisory opinion on what the law ought to be as in the present circumstances and added that the Executive Order 6 violates the doctrine of separation of powers and all tenets of the constitutional democracy.

The appellants noted that the trial Judge shut her eyes against the materials placed before the court and deliberately failed and/or refused to make specific findings of fact on the issue they submitted before the court, in view of the fact that, “none of the persons listed at the First Schedule of the said Presidential Executive Order No. 6 of 2018 have been found guilty as charged, as their respective trials are still ongoing in various courts in Nigeria”.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the Appeal

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