Thursday, 27 October 2016

Scores of women besiege Lagos court over Patience Jonathan

Women numbering over 100 yesterday stormed the Federal High Court in Lagos, chanting solidarity songs on the freezing order placed on the bank accounts of ex-First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan. 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had on Sept. 22 ordered the freezing of some bank accounts belonging to Mrs. Jonathan. The Commission had said the action was due to the ongoing investigation into the alleged money laundering charge preferred against her. Meanwhile, Jonathan in a fundamental rights suit instituted against the EFCC, is asking for a court order, directing the unfreezing of her accounts. She is also claiming the sum of 200 million dollars against the commission as damages for allegedly infringing on her fundamental rights. 

Yesterday, women numbering over 100, who dressed in traditional attire with head gears, stormed the premises of the Federal High Court in Lagos to protest the freezing order. The placard-carrying women, chanted songs in Ijaw and English Languages. Some of the inscriptions read: “Ijaw people are in solidarity with Jonathan”, “Unfreeze ex-President Jonathan’s wife’s account”, “We urge EFCC to abide by the rule of law”, “Women must be heard.” 

Immediately after the court rose, the women trooped in their numbers toward a vehicle belonging to the EFCC, chanting solidarity songs. When the case was called yesterday Rotimi Oyedepo announced appearance for the EFCC, while Granville Abibo (SAN) announced his appearance for Jonathan. Addressing the court, Oyedepo informed the judge that the matter was coming up for the first time, adding that some of the respondents had yet to be served with the court’s processes. 

He submitted that the matter was not yet “ripe for hearing”, having been served with the processes on October 19 and is yet to file a response. His submission was not contested by counsel to the plaintiff. Meanwhile, Justice Babs Kuewumi has fixed Dec. 7 for the hearing of the suit. 

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