The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described as illegal, unconstitutional and a dangerous step towards a descent to fascism, the asset seizure Executive Order imposed by President Muhammadu Buhari in total disregard to 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The major opposition ruling party also stated that the constitution does not, under any section, confer such fascist powers on the President, saying that there can be no legitimate latitude of interpretation placed on sections 5 and 15 (5) of the 1999 Constitution cited as justifications for the draconian executive order that can excuse it.
The PDP stated this in a statement made available on Friday by its spokesman, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan.
The statement reads in part, “Therefore, President Buhari’s unilateral Executive Order is 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 and vest it on himself so that he can use same at will, as a political instrument, to haunt, traumatize, harass and victimize perceived political opponents.
“In order words, 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 anyway 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 reenactment of the obnoxious Decree 2 of 1984, which incidentally was also an enactment under then military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, and this must not be permitted in our current democratic dispensation.
“If allowed, this Order will confer limitless powers on Mr. President, whose administration’s penchant for violation of rules and order already suggests a readiness for autocracy and a drive towards fascism.
“In a democracy, the role of the executive arm of government is to enforce court orders/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 PDP also invited Nigerians and the international community to note that the latest action is a deliberate attempt by the Buhari administration to side-step the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), usurp the powers of the legislature, the judiciary and impose an autocratic regime on our nation.
The PDP therefore urged the judiciary and the legislature to save the country and her people from an imminent fascism by rejecting the obnoxious Executive Order.
The PDP spokesman added that the party’s lawyers are considering a legal action against the Federal Government on the illegality of the President’s action in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the PDP has lauded the Supreme Court judgment, dismissing the false assets declaration case against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
The party said the Supreme Court, by the judgment, has further reinforced the confidence of Nigerian citizens in the courage of the institution of the judiciary, as the temple of justice and the last hope of the common man, particularly under an oppressive regime.
The PDP said that the judgment has further supported its disposition that the Buhari Presidency’s fight against corruption is mere shadow-chasing and a clever attempt at blackmailing the opposition as well as anyone who holds a divergent voice against the administration.
It added that the judgment should serve as a spur for all judicial officers at all levels to be bold in upholding the dispensation of justice in all cases without fear, let or politically induced hindrances.