Former First Lady of Nigeria, Dame Patience Jonathan, has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), of targeting her family for a witch hunt, and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, a statement issued by her media aide, chief press secretary to the former first lady, Mr Belema Meshack-Hart, on Monday in Abuja, quoted Mrs. Jonathan as saying that the EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu, was “prosecuting a plot to destroy my family”. Mr Belema Meshack-Hart said despite campaigning against him in the presidential election, President Donald Trump did not move against Michelle Obama.
“Magu’s vindictive disposition towards my family is portraying the organisation as an agency for revenge,” it further quoted her as saying.
Mrs. Jonathan specifically accused Magu of bias and intimidation, saying that the EFCC boss was “spreading barefaced falsehood and propaganda against me in the name of investigations”.
She accused the EFCC of “unjustified witch hunt”, saying that no other former first lady had faced “such brazen intimidation in the history of this country”.
“For almost three years, the EFCC has beamed its searchlight on me and my family members, including my siblings and parents, as well as my Foundation and Non-Governmental Organisation.
“As a tradition, every First Lady in this country has had one pet project or the other, with which they sought to intervene in the lives of the less privileged.
“Mrs. Jonathan started her NGO in Bayelsa State 11 years ago, when her husband was the Governor of that State.
“With it, she has, over the years, touched the lives of many Nigerians indifferent ways.
“It is surprising that while other First ladies and their pet projects were left alone, it is only her activities and that of her NGOs that are being subjected to indefinite probe and microscopic scrutiny.
“In a method that clearly bears out the axiom of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it, the EFCC has maliciously linked Mrs. Jonathan to all kinds of fake possessions and properties around the country.
“It has come to a point where all the magnificent edifices in Abuja, Yenagoa or Port Harcourt are presented to the media as belonging to Mrs. Patience Jonathan. She has been accused of owning several plots of land in many cities across the country, including places she has never visited.
“The most astonishing of all is that her close relatives are being victimized and their personal properties are being investigated,” the statement stated.
It urged Buhari to intervene on the matter to ensure justice for the former first family and also ensure that the EFCC’s actions were not interpreted as part of a larger plot to disgrace his (Buhari)’s predecessor.
Efforts to speak with EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, were not successful, but a senior official of the commission, rejected suggestions that the outfit was out on a witch hunt.
“We are not out on a witch hunt; we are not targeting anyone or family for a witch hunt; it is not only Mrs. Jonathan that is being investigated. Many people are answering questions in various places.
“Those found guilty will be charged before a competent court of law; those who have nothing to hide should have no fear because we shall not victimise anyone that is innocent,” the source told NAN, craving anonymity.