Former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), from a “witch-hunt”.
A statement issued by her media aide, Mr Belema Meshack-Hart, on Monday in Abuja, quoted Mrs. Jonathan as saying that the EFCC was prosecuting a plot to destroy her family.
Meshack-Hart said that the vindictive disposition of EFCC was portraying the organisation as an agency for revenge.
Mrs. Jonathan, according to Meshack-Hart, specifically accused Ibrahim Magu, EFCC’s boss, of bias and intimidation.
He said that the EFCC boss was “spreading barefaced falsehood and propaganda against Mrs Jonathan in the name of investigations”.
Meshack-Hart 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”.
Quoting Mrs Jonathan, Meshack-Hart said: “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 explained that she started her NGO in Bayelsa State 11 years ago, when her husband was the Governor of that State.
She said that she has over the years, touched the lives of many Nigerians in different ways.
According to her media aide, “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.
EFCC has maliciously linked Mrs. Jonathan to all kinds of fake possessions and properties around the country, he said.
“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.