Femi Falana

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately withdraw the travel ban placed on 50 prominent Nigerians.

The Federal Government had on Saturday banned 50 high-profile Nigerians from travelling abroad following the implementation of the Executive Order 6 signed by the President.

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The Senior Advocate in a statement said the order could not be the basis for preventing suspects from travelling.

Falana, who said the ban was “superfluous”, because either the court or the various anti-corruption agencies had already seized the passports of the affected persons.

The legal luminary added that it was an ingenious design to expose the Buhari administration to “ridicule”.

He said, “If the Federal Government had done some background check it would have discovered that the names of the 50 VIPs have long been placed on security watch list while their passports have been impounded by the anti-graft agencies or the courts as one of the conditions for admitting them to bail.

“It is public knowledge that whenever the defendants wish to travel abroad for medical treatment they usually apply for the interim release of their passports. Since the courts have taken judicial notice of the perilous state of medical facilities in the country such applications are usually granted.

“Notwithstanding such judicial indictment of politically exposed persons seeking medical treatment during trial the law has not authorised the Executive to restrict the movement of criminal suspects.”