Hundreds of youths from Rivers State on Friday besieged the Rivers State office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in protest against the ongoing probe of the wife of the former President, Mrs. Patience Jonathan.
The protesters, who marched from CFC junction on the Aba-Port Harcourt Highway to the office of the EFCC in Port Harcourt, described the investigation of Mrs. Jonathan as politically motivated.
The protesters, who sang solidarity songs, carried placards bearing inscriptions like ‘Why are you Harassing our Daughter’, EFCC, Leave our Daughter Alone.’
The EFCC had discovered over $31 million in bank accounts reportedly owned by Mrs. Jonathan.
However, the youths who were members of Coalition of Civil Rights Organisation, Concerned Youths and the Ijaw Nation Worldwide, maintained that the probe was targeted at damaging the reputation of the former first lady.
A protest letter submitted to the Zonal Head of EFCC, Ishaq Salihu, at the commission’s South- South zonal office in Port Harcourt by Chief Sukubo Sara-Igbe, noted that EFCC’s action against Mrs. Jonathan were targetted at stealing her hard earned resources and reputation.
According to the letter, “The continued portrayal of Mrs. Patience Jonathan as a woman of questionable character is totally condemnable by the people of Niger Delta, this we shall not fold our hands and watch.
“We know this trial is politically motivated and it is to steal Patience Jonathan’s hard earned money in this era of great hunger and economic recession.”
The letter further called on the anti-graft commission to render an “unreserved apology” to the wife of the former President and take measures to restore her image.
“The EFCC establishment in 2004 is inferior in content and quality to the African Charter on Human Rights 2004 and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Government as amended.
“We therefore call on you sir and your commission, the EFCC, to render unreserved apology for the damage already committed and take remedial action in restoring to Mrs. Jonathan battered image,” the group’s letter read.
The group stated that with the action of the EFCC, the commission had breached the 1999 Constitution as amended and the African Charter on Human and the People’s Right (gratification and enforcement) Act 2004.
It added, “The atrocity was committed by the EFCC in the course of the commission’s illegal and unlawful investigation of Mrs. Patience Jonathan for alleged money laundry.
“This investigation (of Mrs. Jonathan) has reportedly led to the freezing of her account. This has led to untold consequences on Mrs. Jonathan’s health and wellbeing.”
Sara-Igbe, who later addressed the crowd, described the former first lady as a woman of unquestionable character and decried the action of the EFCC against the wife of the former President.
In his response, Zonal Head of EFCC, Mr. Ishaq Salihu, expressed delight that the protesters conducted themselves peacefully.
Salihu maintained that nobody was above the law, adding that there was no place for selective justice in the anti-graft commission.
According to him, “Nobody should justify the criminal illegality that has been going on. Our motto is nobody is above the law. There is nothing like selective cases in the EFCC.”
Source: The Punch