Former First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, has written a petition to the House of assembly seeking for protection from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In the letter presented to the House by Rep. Lovette Idisi, (PDP-Delta) on Wednesday, the former first lady alleged that she was being “incessantly harassed” by the anti-graft agency.
According to Idisi, the petition was signed by youth organisations from six ethnic groups in the country.
The organisations were the Ijaw Youth Council; Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council; Ndokwa Youth Council; Arewa Consultative Forum; Yoruba Youth Council; and the Middle Belt Youth Council.
Idisi added that the wife of former President, Goodluck Jonathan was presumed to be innocent until proven guilty as enshrined in Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“This petition is in line with Section 36 of the 199 Constitution, where every citizen of the country is presumed innocent until proven guilty. “Mr Speaker, the constant harassment of the former first lady is a petition emanating from her which was sent to my office. ‘’With the leave of the house, I seek your permission to lay the petition before the house,” she said. After Idisi laid the petition,the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara, referred it to the Committee on Public Petitions.
The Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, referred the petition to the House Committee on Public Petitions, for hearing.
It is expected that the former President’ wife will come to the National Assembly when invited, to defend the petition.
The petition claimed that the EFCC had frozen Mrs Jonathan’s accounts and those of some of her close associates on account of allegations of corruption.
It noted that some of the affected individuals were not under investigation by the anti-graft agency, but the agency still froze their accounts.
“A simple cost benefit analysis of the EFCC’s current approach would reveal that it is harming this government’s strategic interest far more than the brief publicity it gets from its current modus operandi…
“We are urging you to caution and rein in the EFCC to operate within the confines of its enabling laws, lest it becomes victim of the corrupting influence of absolute power,” the document reads in part.
Mrs. Patience Jonathan and the EFCC have recently had a running battle over the $31m in different company accounts frozen by the EFCC.
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