Nigeria’s Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and a former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, on Tuesday, said that they only heard of their ban from traveling abroad on the pages of newspapers.
The two PDP chieftains said they were not banned from traveling abroad because there was no any official communication to that effect.
The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, said last Monday that it had submitted names of 29 persons who are to be banned from travelling abroad following corruption cases against them to the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS.
The Monday’s declaration was a follow up to a revelation in October when the Federal Government said it placed 50 Nigerians on watch list following ongoing corruption cases against them.
In a statement by Ekwerenmadu’s spokesperson, Uche Anichukwu, stated that the story banning his principal from travelling was far from the truth.
He said, “Ekweremadu’s position is that the Constitution demands every public officer to declare his or her assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau every four years, a provision he had since fulfilled, hence his refusal to fill fresh asset declaration forms forwarded to him by the panel contrary to the constitution.
“It is also his position that the Public Property Special Provisions Act, CAP R4 LFN, 2004, otherwise known as Decree No 3, 1984, which the panel relied on to charge public officials to court has become obsolete and power to investigate non-asset declaration is now vested in the Code of Conduct Bureau by the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Therefore, only the Code of Conduct Bureau can receive asset declaration forms from public officers.
Bafarawa on his part, said if the Federal Government had anything against him, it should go to court instead of trying him other opposition leaders on the pages of newspapers.
His words, “My international passport is with me; nobody communicated to me that I have been banned. I was in court and secured judgement in my favour but it seems there is no rule of law anymore… The courts are being undermined, I don’t think we are running a democratic government anymore.