Coalition of Ethic Nationalities on Wednesday kicked against alleged persecution of former first Lady, Patience Jonathan by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) under the guise of war against corruption.
Meanwhile, the coalitions alleged that operatives of EFCC, DSS and NDLEA had twice invaded the Abuja’s residence of former first lady in her absence.
The protest which had been scheduled to hold in the entrance of the National Assembly was held at the Federal Secretariat beside Bayelsa House due
The groups comprised of Ijaw Youths, Ohanaeze Ndigbo youths, Arewa Youth Consultative forum, Yoruba youth Council, etc.
They expressed their displeasure over the ongoing trial of former first Lady, Patience Jonathan and cousin to former President, Roberts Azibaola and his wife, Stella, by EFCC on what they described as phantom charges.
The protesters carrying various inscriptions lampooning the anti-graft agency called on the National Assembly and concerned Nigerians to help in arresting the ugly trend.
Consequently, in a joint signed communique issued by leaders of various ethics Nationalities and addressed to the leadership of National of Assembly appealed on the National Assembly to call EFCC to other on its alleged witch-hunting exercise against the former President Family members.
They called on the Federal lawmakers to make anti-graft agency adhere strictly to the principle of Rule of Law in any of its operations being an agency set up by an Act of Parliament.
“An agency set up an Act of Parliament in constitution democracy can definitely not be allowed to be turned into a tool for witch-hunting of perceived enemies by any government in power,” they said.
They specifically condemned the freezing of the account of former first lady and other innocent people related to her without any investigation, saying:
“This is direct violation of one of three cardinal tenet of the rule of law as regards promotion of human and protection from arbitrariness.”
The communique reads in parts:
“We call on the National Assembly to call EFCC to probe the way they have been harassing, intimidating and slandering the image of the Goodluck Jonathan family, especially the former first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan in the media.
“While, we totally support the ongoing anti-corruption crusade, we are nonetheless calling on you to prevail on the Federal government to be true to President Buhari’s Independence Day pledge that “in fighting corruption, however, the government would adhere strictly by the rule of law.”
“This can only be achieved by calling the EFCC to order.
“We unequivocally condemn the freezing of the accounts of the former first lady, Patience Jonathan and other innocent people related to her, such as kids and other family members, who are not under investigation.
“This is a direct violation of one of the cardinal tenets of the Rule of law which is the promotion of human right and protection from arbitrariness.
“For each citizen, even though accused of crimes ought to be presumed innocent until a court of competent jurisdiction proves otherwise beyond reasonable doubt.
“We raise the alarm of threat to life as men suspected to be DSS, NDLEA and EFCC have twice broken into the house of the former first lady in Abuja in her absent without formal notice.”
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