EFCC vs PATIENCE JONATHAN, 2006
Alert first Published 2010
In August 2006, the EFCC seized the sum of N104 million from one Mrs. Nancy Ebere Nwosu, an associate of Patience Jonathan. On August 22, 2006, Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court, gave EFCC the legal backing to retain the N104 million seized from an associate of Patience Goodluck, the wife of then governor of Bayelsa state, Goodluck Jonathan.
The order was to stay in place “pending the conclusion of the investigation of the activities of the said persons in connection with their involvement in the acts of money laundering and other economic and financial crimes related offences.” The EFCC’s position was that Patience Jonathan stole the money from the public coffers of Bayelsa and was trying to launder it through her friend, Mrs. Nancy Ebere Nwosu.
Like a crack addict willing to do anything for a high, Patience Jonathan was not going to give up her addiction to treasury looting simply because Nuhu Ribadu’s EFCC was on her trail. Determined to prove that only mere mortals shivered at the sight of EFCC, she continued with her looting of Bayelsa’s treasury with the full cooperation and assistance of her husband, Goodluck Jonathan, who was the then governor of Bayelsa state. The duo was so successful that on September 11, 2006, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) again seized another $13.5 million dollars (US) from Mrs. Patience Jonathan. Criminal charges were brought against her and Nigerians were awaiting her prosecution to the full extent of the law.Shortly thereafter and in the face of these serious allegations, the insensitive Olusegun Obasanjo and his PDP that had become a den of thieves, nominated Goodluck Jonathan to be the running mate of Yar’Adua.
Fast forward to post 2007 elections. Goodluck Jonathan is now the vice president of Nigeria, Farida Waziri the head of EFCC and whenever president Yar Adua manages to wake up from his near-permanent slumber he rants about his “zero tolerance” for corruption, despite having an indicted man as his personal secretary and dinning and whining with James Ibori. Farida Waziri would want anyone listening to believe that the presidency does not interfere with EFCC’s decision making process and Yar Adua proclaimed this much immediately after the conviction of Bode George.
After trying to deceive the public by blaming the judiciary alone for the near snail speed prosecution of public officials facing corruption charges and then advocating for psychiatric assessment for public officials who dared to steal more money than she realized from defending criminals and scheming a percentage off the money she is recovering for the banks. Farida ?Waziri is in the news again. This time around, she is advocating for the death penalty for treasury looters. It will be easier to understand Farida’s cries if she had prosecuted and jailed the corrupt public officials under existing laws and was now seeking the death penalty to discourage reoccurrence. But we all know this is not the case.
Notwithstanding the hypocrisy involved in Farida’s “notice-me” advocacies, I am in complete agreement with her that public officials found guilty of corruption should be tied to the stake and publicly executed. My only concern is she is aware of the fact that she would be among the first to be tied to the stake and executed under the full glare of Nigerians should corruption be made a capital offence? Sorry for the diversion and back to the issue of patience Jonathan.
The case against Patience Jonathan has gone cold since Jonathan Goodluck became the vice president of Nigeria. The case has gone cold despite relentless denials of political interference by the EFCC and the presidency, although the president has publicly acknowledged directing investigations into certain allegations when such suits his political purpose. It has gone cold despite Yar Adua’s broken-record equivalent repetitiveness of zero tolerance for corruption, a repetitiveness that leaves Nigerians with two options: the president is either “419”ing Nigerians with his proclamations or lacking the intellectual capacity to comprehend what constitutes corruption.
In the past, Farida Waziri has been quick to blame Sahara Reporters and its ardent followers for drowning out her so called anti-corruption message, despite her trepidations and failure to grant a single no holds barred interview to members of the “non-friendly” press since assuming office. This is her chance. Nigerians want to know what happened to the case of EFCC vs. Patience Jonathan. You can lie to a blind person that there is no oil in the food but you cannot lie that there is no salt.
Friday, 26 November 2010