Patience Jonathan says report of fresh $25m traced to her accounts is ‘falsehood aimed at hoodwinking the public’ and tainting her image
– The ex-first lady says she has never owned such an amount of money and wondered where the EFCC got the funds from
– Jonathan says EFCC’s allegations are making life hellish for her by making up allegations that are having people malign her person unfairly everywhere in Nigeria
Former first lady Patience Jonathan has denied being the owner of additional $25m traced to her accounts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Vanguard reports that Patience popularly known as ‘Mama Peace’ when her husband Goodluck Jonathan was president issued the denial through a statement from her media aide Chima Osuji at the weekend.
Patience described the fresh allegations by the EFCC as ‘falsehood aimed at hoodwinking the public’ and tainting the ex-first lady’s image. The statement read: “The allegation that Mrs Jonathan is laying claim to ownership of the sum of $31.7 million fund recovered by EFCC is a complete fallacy. Mrs. Jonathan does not own and has never owned such amount of money. The reason for this lie is best known to EFCC. “That another sum of $20 million had been traced to Mrs. Jonathan is, again, another falsehood aimed at hoodwinking the public against her person. That a further sum of $5 million has again been traced to another account of hers is also a fallacy. That Mrs. Jonathan opened accounts in the names of cooks, drivers and artisans is perhaps the biggest falsehood to the knowledge of EFCC.”
It continued: “We have a lot of respect for the sanctity and integrity of the judiciary where this matter, particularly the trial, is currently pending but we are surprised to observe that EFCC, the prosecutor of this matter, does not have the same measure of respect for the judiciary, the bastion of hope for every citizen of this country. EFCC boss Magu and Patience Jonathan EFCC boss Magu and Patience Jonathan.
“We have been inundated with calls, text messages and news items including radio/TV commentaries against the person of Mrs Jonathan regarding false and malicious statements issued daily by EFCC in the court of public opinion so as to malign the person of Mrs. Jonathan. “We are constrained, to respond to the tissues of lies being churned out by the EFCC in respect of the matter. The purpose for these tales by moonlight is to malign Mrs. Jonathan in the eyes of the misinformed and unsuspecting members of the Nigerian Public and beyond and give a semblance of a picture of a hardworking agency bent on fighting corruption and indeed winning the war.
“It is unfortunate that the EFCC, which belongs to all Nigerians, will rather than conduct a painstaking and thorough investigation of cases brought to it, resort to a greater disposition and propensity to engage in media trials, built on outright falsehood and give to innocent persons, including Mrs. Jonathan, the toga of a “thief” or “corrupt” person even before any proper trial. “There is absolute injustice and unfairness in this case relating to Mrs Jonathan and we would like to remind Nigerians that ‘injustice to one, is injustice to all’ for on whom next the bell would toll. It is important to emphasize that EFCC needs to desist from media trials of innocent citizens before trial in a court of law as provided under the Constitution.” Meanwhile, popular human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has lashed out at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for shielding corrupt judges following the raid by the Department of State Service (DSS). The DSS raid on allegedly corrupt politicians in the early hours of Saturday, October 8 although this has been highly criticised by some Nigerians.