Patience Jonathan Petitions N’Assembly over Repeated Harassment by Security Agencies

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By James Emejo in Abuja

The former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, yesterday petitioned the National Assembly over what she described as “persistent, consistent, unwarranted personal and physical attacks” on her by officials of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)  and other agencies of the federal government.

The petition which dated June 9, 2017, was signed by her legal counsel, lead by G. I. Abibo (SAN) and 15 others, was read on the House of Representatives floor by Hon. Gogo Bright Tamuno (PDP,  Bayelsa).

The petition accused the acting Chairman of the EFCC,  Mr.  Ibrahim Magu, of orchestrating the agency’s onslaught on the former first lady. 

The petition further listed several injustices purportedly meted out to Mrs. Jonathan including an EFCC’s  endless pattern of freezing all accounts belonging to her in every bank with spurious court orders including accounts of her relations, friends, associates or her non-governmental organisations (NGOs)  which are charitable entities. 

It stated that of all the former first ladies in the country,  only the NGOs of Mrs. Jonathan, the ARM Foundation or World Peace Outreach groups had been singled out and targeted by the EFCC with repetitive raids and freezing of accounts without court orders.

It stated: “It is to be observed and restated that in the political history of Nigeria, our client is the only former first lady to be singled out for ill-treatment, persistent, consistent and unwarranted attacks on her person and property ipso facto the only first family of the past presidents/heads of state to be treated with so much disdain and contempt.”

Continuing,  it said: “It is in light of the foregoing that we petition you,  our dear excellency to use your good office to call to order these agencies of the federal government which have been misusing and /or abusing their powers by in fringing brazingly the constitutional rights of our client and her relations in total contravention of the rule of law and the tenets of the practice of democracy in this country.”

Among several other accusations,  the petitioner noted that on November 3, 2016, the EFCC physically raided and attacked the premises of Patience and her relations located at no 2, Igbeti street, Maitama, Abuja in the absence of the occupants of the house, carting away valuable items.

On same day,  officials of the NDLEA also carried out another raid on the same premises and in the absence of the occupants in the guise of searching for drugs which were allegedly  kept in the house.