Mrs Patience Jonathan
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described the legal tussle between the incumbent First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan and her predecessor, Hajiya Turai Yar’Adua, over a plot of land in the Federal Capital territory as ‘despicable.’
In a statement issued Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji. Lai Mohammed, the party queried the rationale behind the sudden somersault by the authorities of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to revoke a land it allocated to Turai’s non-governmental organisation and re-allocate same to another organisation belonging to Jonathan’s wife.
The party said while it was not holding brief for Turai Yar’Adua, it was clear from the court records that the disputed land was first duly allocated to her non-governmental organisation: Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation by the Minister for the Federal Capital Territory and a statutory right of occupancy duly issued by the same minister.
“From the same court records, the organisation paid all levies and dues running into several hundreds of millions of naira. However, shortly after, the minister for the Federal Capital Territory without reasons issued a notice of revocation of the said property ostensibly on grounds of overriding public interest only to swiftly re-allocate the same land to another non-governmental organisation the African First Ladies Peace Centre believed to belong to the current First Lady Dame Jonathan.’
ACN also queried the source from which the office of the First Lady got funds to buy land for over a quarter of a billion naira and award a contract for its construction for a further sum of N13 billion.
According to the party, “any close observer of the FCT Administration under the watch of Senator Bala Mohammed will know that this is vintage Bala Mohammed, a man who will do anything to remain in the good books of President Goodluck Jonathan”
It said in more decent climes this scandal would have seen the immediate exit of Mohammed from the cabinet and severely affected the political fortunes of the President.
The party said it had earlier condemned in very strong terms the decision of the same minister to name an extension of the Maitama District after President Jonathan even when no such honour was bestowed on former heads of states especially those whose contributions to the development of Abuja as the Federal Capital are glaring and undeniable.
“But even if Senator Bala Ahmed’s scandalous conduct can be excused on the grounds that his behavior is consistent with the character of a man who will do anything to hang on to his job, can anyone excuse the conduct of Dame Patience Jonathan who according to both court records and newspaper reports, her African Ladies Peace Centre in defiance of a subsisting court order restraining them from carrying out further activities at the site mobilised contractors to the site to commence construction work?
“Should Nigeria’s First Lady be seen to be promoting a culture of impunity and disrespect for court orders. Obviously this Ceasar’s wife does not believe she should be above board.”
According to ACN, the entire saga has in addition revealed the under belly of the gargantuan edifice of corruption of the PDP-led Federal Government.