The Niger Delta Peoples Professional Volunteer Force (NDPPVF), a group which says its members are workers in the oil and gas industry, has threatened to bomb the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) if the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrests Patience Jonathan.
Accusing the anti-graft agency of witch-hunting the former first lady, the group advised EFCC to lift the No Debit Order imposed on her Skye Bank accounts.
The accounts contained more than $15 million, but Jonathan’s wife has since explained that the money was meant for her medical bills.
Last week, the EFCC filed money laundering charges against Waripamowei Dudafa, Jonathan’s special adviser on domestic affairs, whom the former first lady directed to open the accounts Dudafa, Amajuoyi Briggs, a lawyer; and Damola Bolodeoku, a Skye Bank official.
On Tuesday, Ibrahim Magu, chairman of the EFCC, also told reporters that Jonathan’s wife was under investigation.
But in a statement by Parkinson George-Amabo, spokesman of NDPPVF, the group warned Magu that investigating Patience could result into “bad blood, embarrassment and possible unrest in the Niger Delta”.
The group said it is not in support of corruption, but against the manner in which the agency is investigating Patience who has had an “impressive and fortuitous pedigree”.
“As a matter of fact, the EFCC has launched a criminal investigation of Mrs. Jonathan and in the process, frozen her bank accounts domiciled with a Nigerian commercial bank without affording her opportunity to state her own side of the matter,” the statement read.
“Nobody is above the law. The NDPPVF does not support or condone corruption. If Mrs. Jonathan was found to be corrupt, we shall not hesitate to call for her prosecution.
“We, however, have a grouse with the modus operandi of Mrs. Jonathan’s investigation, given her status as the wife of a former deputy governor, former governor, former vice-president, former acting president and finally, former president. She is perhaps, the only Nigerian woman – dead or alive – with such an impressive and fortuitous pedigree; which accounts for why the EFCC needs to thread with caution.
“Recently, there have been calls on the attorney-general of the federation as well as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest and prosecute the former First Lady for alleged money laundering.
“We shall simultaneously bomb the 4 wings of the NNPC Towers the day it is announced that MRS. PATIENCE GOODLUCK JONATHAN has been arrested by the EFCC.”
The group added that before her husband emerged as vice-president in 2007, the EFCC investigated Mrs. Jonathan and cleared of any wrongdoing”.
Follow us on twitter @thecableng