The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has backed the move by lawmakers to strip the President of his power to order forfeiture of asset owned by persons facing criminal prosecution.
Lawmakers are proposing to strip the President of his power on asset forteiture and vests it in the judge of the High Court, who will now use his discretion to decide on whether to order the forfeiture.
The speaker stated that stripping the power of the president would deepen democracy and give all arms of government the chance to perform their duties without interference.
Speaking at a public hearing on the bill, Dogara said: “The discretionary powers being sought for the judge of the high court; it is essential in order to ensure that the course of justice is protected in the Nigerian socio-economic space.
“Currently, the powers for forfeiture are vested in the President, which invariably usurps the prerogative of the judiciary to adjudicate and give ruling among others.
“For democracy to be truly deepened, all the three arms of government need to be deepened to effectively perform their constitutional responsibilities.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria and several operators in the financial sector supported the bill.