Yakubu Dogara, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, while reacting to the plan of stripping President Muhammadu Buhari of his power, supported the move by the legislature on Monday.
Dogara stated that democracy will be on the right track if all arms of government have the chance to perform their duties without interference.
Recall that the National Assembly is proposing to strip the President of his power on asset forfeiture and vests it in the judge of the High Court.
Dogara spoke at the opening of a public hearing on the bill, which sought to amend the “Currency Conversion (Freezing Orders) Act, 2004” at the National Assembly in Abuja.
The hearing was conducted by the House Committee on Banking/Currency chaired by Mr Chukwudi Jones-Onyereri.
The Speaker explained, “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, urging the National Assembly to pass it speedily.
Mr Adedeji Lawal, CBN’s Deputy Director, who represented the apex bank, also suggested that the bill should be further amended to allow the court forward any forfeiture orders to the CBN governor in writing for implementation.
But, lawmakers observed that asking the judge to communicate the order in writing to the governor was not necessary as it could amount to meddling in court proceedings.