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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Ex First Lady slams N2b charge against EFCC

The immediate past First Lady and wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dame Patience Jonathan, has slammed a N2 billion rights enforcement suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Patience Jonathan
Mrs Patience Jonathan

The suit was brought pursuant to Order 2 Rule 1 of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules 2009, and Sections 34(1), 36(1), 37, 42 and 44 of 1999 Constitution.

The suit, filed by I. A. Adedipe (SAN), on behalf of  Mrs Jonathan, is praying for an order for general damages/compensation in the sum of N2 billion against the EFCC, for violation of her fundamental rights.

The applicant wants a declaration that her incessant harassment by the EFCC through negative media publications, denigrating and degrading her person as corrupt, without any invitation by EFCC, trial or conviction by a court is a violation of her rights under Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution.

The applicant wants a declaration that indiscriminate freezing of her bank accounts and those of her relatives by the EFCC under the guise of investigation of proceeds of crime, without any invitation or interrogation by the respondent is a violation of her rights to own property and to fair hearing guaranteed under Sections 44 and 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution.

“A declaration that the invasion, breaking into and ransacking of the applicant’s family property by the agents of the respondent in the absence of the applicant or any member of her family, while purporting to be executing a search warrant, is a violation of the applicant’s fundamental  human rights to private and family life guaranteed under the provisions of Section 37 of the Constitution.

“A declaration that the incessant harassment of the applicant by the respondent on the ground of her political views expressed by reason of her being a member of the opposition party in Nigeria, is a violation of the applicant’s fundamental human right to freedom from discrimination, guaranteed under Section 42 of the Constitution.

“An order of court restraining the respondent, whether by itself, its agents, privies or any person acting on its behalf from further violating the applicant’s fundamental rights adumbrated above.

The matter, which was assigned to Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court was mentioned yesterday and has been adjourned till November 16.

By Chinyere Obia

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