The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL has described the ambience around the $15.5m money laundry scam involving the wife of the immediate past President, Patience Jonathan as that which exemplifies the scenario where the so-called high and mighty wield their ‘immunity’ with bare-faced impunity and effrontery even in the face glaring constitutional dictates that stipulates otherwise.
A Federal High Court recently rejected an application by the former First Lady urging the court to order the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC to withdraw the ‘No Debit Order’ it placed on the accounts holding the monies purported to be owned by Mrs. Jonathan.
The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran when reacting to media reports on the issue stated that “the controversies surrounding Patience Jonathan, the EFCC and the sum allegedly laundered has been stretched for far too long without any meaningful twist toward a logical conclusion. What we are witnessing is a continuum of an embarrassing tug of war between the EFCC, a body constitutionally charged with combating financial and economic crimes and Patience Jonathan, a Nigerian bounded by the constitution like every other Nigerian.”
“At this point, it now behoves on the EFCC to fulfill its constitutional role of by establishing an ‘airtight’ case based on concrete evidences against Patience Jonathan if they exist. Apart from focusing at preventing access to the controversial funds, the EFCC must go ahead to carry out thorough investigations and diligently prosecute the cases against Madam Jonathan like it is constitutionally empowered to do. By now, Mrs. Patience Jonathan ought to been invited for questioning just like any other Nigerian who may be suspected of having committed an illegality.”
Also involved in the Patience Jonathan suit, are Warampo Dudafa, an ex-aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan and the four companies whose representatives already pleaded guilty and subsequently convicted for the money laundry scam. This latest suit instituted by Mrs. Jonathan was intended to make the court to order the EFCC to unfreeze the accounts and grant her access to the money in question.
Adeniran called on the EFCC to exercise every constitutional powers to freeze any bank accounts with suspicious transactions and amounts until they are cleared of suspicions. He said, “the agency should be tactful and decisive in carrying out its constitutional functions to achieve convictions, because that is what will serve as strong deterrent against corruption.”
The anti-corruption crusader also called for accelerated hearings of the cases involving the former First Lady and all other corruption cases that are pending in different courts. He concluded stating that, “at the end the anti-corruption drive would be futile if after all the show of activities, corruption criminals are do not get convicted under the Buhari administration in spite of the anti-corruption stance of the regime. The EFFC need not to be intimidated by falsely acquired “immunity” against probe, questioning, investigation or arrest. No one is above the law! We expect the anti-corruption agencies to exert their powers as provided for by the constitution to overcome any intimidation in performing their duties. No law says Patience Jonathan is “untouchable” or can’t be prosecuted.
Wale Salami
Media Coordinator, CACOL
November 23, 2016
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