First Law Associates, Solicitors to former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Goodluck Jonathan, has given the Economic and Financial Commission, EFCC, 14 day-ultimatum with effect from September 18 to lift the embargo placed on her accounts and also tender a public apology.
The anti-graft agency had frozen accounts belonging to the former First Lady after over $15m was uncovered in them.
Senior Partner, First Law Associates, Timipa Okponipere Esq. in an
open letter to EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, asked the Commission to
leave Mrs. Jonathan alone.
He warned that it refused to conform: “We shall file an action at the
African Commission on Human Rights at the Gambia demanding N5 billion
in exemplary and punitive damages.”
The solicitor observed: “There is no established legal or political
precedent for what the EFCC is currently doing to our client.
former First Ladies in Nigeria have received the Patience Goodluck
Jonathan Treatment (PGJT) to have warranted the EFCC to engage in the
effrontery to freeze our client’s accounts and subject her to public
opprobrium, ridicule and disgrace? This nonsense must stop forthwith.”
He said, “Our client is a respected senior citizen of international
repute, a retired Permanent Secretary and the immediate past First Lady
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Our Client is a law-abiding citizen
who has never or at all been the subject of any criminal and/or
financial investigation, whether at home or abroad. Accordingly, she has
not been found guilty of any criminal conduct throughout a sparkling
public service career spanning over 35 years.”
During the 5 years our client served as First Lady of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria between May, 2010 and May, 2015; she was the
Initiator/Founder of the A. ARUERA WOMEN FOUNDATION as well as the WOMEN
FOR CHANGE INITIATIVE; both of which Non-Governmental Organizations
(NGOs) substantially contributed to the 35 per cent affirmative action
for women in the country. Our Client is the recipient of numerous local
and international awards in recognition of her untiring commitment
towards uplifting the living standard of women, children and the aged in
“Sir, it is against this sterling and meritorious background of our
client that we most respectfully, write to draw your attention to the
numerous breaches of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the African
Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act
2004 committed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in
cause of the Commission’s illegal and unlawful investigation of our
client for alleged money laundering. These investigations have
reportedly led to the freeze of our client’s accounts and led to untold
consequences to our client’s health and wellbeing,” the solicitor
He added: “The EFCC must realize that the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004 is inferior in content and
quality to both the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
(As amended) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights,
The former First Lady insists that the money found in her accounts was for her medical bills.
Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project
(SERAP) has asked Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar
Malami to institute criminal proceedings against Patience Jonathan without delay.
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