Patience Jonathan gives EFCC 14-day ultimatum, threatens N5bn suit

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Patience

Former first lady Patience Jonathan has given the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) a fourteen-day ultimatum to unfreeze her accounts or face a five billion naira lawsuit, The Nation reports.

Mrs. Jonathan issued the threat on Monday in a letter issued by her attorneys, First Law Solicitors and signed by its Senior Partner, Timipa Jenkins Okponipere and addressed to the Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.

The letter reads, “Sir, it is our client’s brief that there is no formal criminal complaint of economic and financial crime as defined by the EFCC Act 2004 written by any person or institution against her which warranted the EFCC to freeze her accounts.

It is also our client’s brief that the EFCC failed to obtain a court order as required by Section 34 of the EFCC Act before her accounts were frozen.

“It is our client’s further brief that, up until the writing of this open letter, she has not received any formal invitation to appear before the commission for questioning; whereas her accounts domiciled with Skye Bank Plc have since been frozen by the commission without recourse to her.

“We are very much aware of numerous instances where EFCC used strong-arm tactics to dispossess hard working Nigerians of their legitimately earned money; only to turn around to brazenly and shamelessly loot the recovered loot.

This is one of such unfortunate instances. Clearly, it is a failed politically-motivated attempt by the EFCC to steal our client’s money using the cover of the present political climate.

“For the avoidance of doubt, it shall be counter-productive and inimical to the public interest if the Attorney General of the Federation and/or the EFCC heeded the irresponsible calls to commence the arrest and prosecution of our client based on suspicion.

If they did otherwise, they shall be violating the extant provision of Section 174(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which clearly prohibits criminal proceedings that were not in the public interest. Besides, suspicion; no matter how strong it may seem; cannot ground a conviction.”