Jul 6, 2018

Provisions of the Executive Order (No. 6) On The Preservation Of Suspicious Assets | Adedunmade Onibokun

On Thursday, 5th July, 2018, President Buhari signed the Executive Order On The Preservation Of Suspicious Assets Connected With Corruption And Other Relevant Offences. The Executive Order which is a new tool in the fight against corruption in Nigeria seeks to inter alia restrict dealings in suspicious assets, subject to investigation or inquiry bordering on corruption in order to preserve such assets from dissipation, and to deprive alleged criminals of the proceeds of their illicit activities which can otherwise be employed to allure, pervert and/or intimidate the investigative and judicial processes.

The Executive Order, in its Section 5, defines the term asset as including funds, liquid assets, receivables, stocks, bonds, insurance policies, shares in listed and unlisted companies and all manner of fixed assets. According to the President, as provided in Section 15(5) of the Constitution, it is a fundamental objective and directive principle of state policy for the State to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power in Nigeria.

The Order further defines corrupt practices as activity involving matters regarding economic sabotage, including human trafficking, drug trafficking and terrorism involving funds or assets worth N50,000,000 (Fifty Million naira) and above. It also relates to the misappropriation of government assets; or the transfer of proceeds of corruption.

However, one must wonder if this drive to stop the abuse of power does not include the strict adherence to the Rule of Law and the directions of court, for President Buhari and his administration have directly disobeyed the order of 6 (Six) courts to effect the bail of former National Security Adviser. Consequently, one may conclude that this present administration only chooses to uphold that the Rule of Law when it suits them most.

Other Provisions of the Executive Order, No. 6

Section 1

The Order begins in Section 1, by providing that all assets of any citizen, government officials or politically exposed persons who are complicit in corrupt practices are to be protected from dissipation by employing lawful or statutory means including seeking the appropriate court orders. Furthermore, subsection B, provides that any government official or person who receives any form of bribes or engage in corrupt and unlawful practices shall be subject to disciplinary procedures in line with the Public Service Rules.

The Order empowers the Attorney – General of the Federation with the authority to enforce the Executive Order and enlist the cooperation of listed law enforcement agencies in Nigeria. The Order also mandates the A.G Federation to publish periodically all a list of assets protected pursuant to the Order. A very major important part of the section is that it requires the Attorney – General to seek appropriate Order(s) of court where necessary which is to enable the A.G, freeze or confiscate any funds or assets which is connected to any corrupt practices until final determination by a court.

Section 2

The 2nd Section of the Executive Order provides for the prosecution of anyone who seeks to pervert the course of justice. For instance, by interfering with the free exercise of the President’s authority; by destroying evidence or by corrupting witnesses.


Section 3

This section provides an opportunity for persons whose rights are infringed upon or contravened by this Executive Order to seek appropriate redress in court.

Section 4

Via this section, all enforcement authorities are directed to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Justice in implementing this order to ensure the preservation of assets which come under the purview of the Order.

For more interaction on the provisions of the Executive Order No. 6; please leave a comment below or send a mail.

Adedunmade Onibokun Esq.