By Denni Agbo
ENUGU—A group of Concerned Igbo Youths, yesterday, protested at the South East zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in Enugu, demanding for withdrawal of probe and defreezing of the account of Nigeria’s former first Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.
The youths, led by its coordinator, Comrade Victor Ezenagu, said that Mrs. Jonathan’s probe is a probe on her husband, former President Goodluck Jonathan and demanded the withdrawal of all charges against Mrs. Jonathan.
They alleged that the probe is meant to humiliate the former president and his family, noting that no other former President of Nigeria has ever been probed.
At the EFCC office in Enugu, the group submitted a petition to the zonal head of the commission, Mr. Johnson Babalola, titled: “Unjust persecution and desperate plan to humiliate former President Goodluck Jonathan.”
The youths said, “ While we salute the commitment of the present administration towards fighting corruption in the country, we, however, express our disaffection on the manner the war is being prosecuted by the commission under your watch. Some of the actions of the commission in recent time leaves no one in doubt that certain persons have clearly been singled out to be humiliated.
“A case in point is that of former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, who is currently being prosecuted by the EFCC. We see the freezing of her personal account and on-going prosecution as an attempt to discredit former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“It is condemnable that having sacrificed his ambition for the sake of Nigeria’s future, Jonathan’s family is being visited with such cruelty from the commission. We say this because Mrs. Jonathan is not the first person to have occupied the office of First Lady in Nigeria. Yet, none of the other former occupants of that office is under probe, let alone trial.
“It is also not out of place to state that the current administration is indirectly prosecuting and persecuting Jonathan. But to unleash such an action on a man who willingly conceded defeat, even when he was being urged to fight on, has grave implications.”
They stressed that while they were not against the anti-graft war, “it should be done within the ambit of the law.”
It is not proper for the anti-graft agency to unleash itself on the family of former president Jonathan and freeze their account over mere allegations.