UPDATE: Again, women storm court to protest Patience Jonathan’s ‘harassment’ over frozen $15 million

Women group storms court to protest Patience Jonathan's 'harassment'

A group of women called “Nigeria Women”, on Monday thronged the premises of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court to protest former First Lady, Patience Jonathan’s  “harassed and maltreatment.”

The women, numbering up to 100 and led by Kate Onyejere, sang solidarity songs in support of Mrs. Jonathan.

“I am not satisfied today, some people came in today and said they needed time on the case and moved for an adjournment, that they needed time to study the matter and the judge moved for 6th March,” said Mrs. Onyejere.

“But we are not happy, they just want to punish the woman and keep prolonging the issue, the Nigerian women are not happy.”

Mrs. Jonathan had sued the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission after the agency froze bank accounts linked to her and containing  $15 million.

She is seeking to un-freeze the bank accounts she says belong to her and demanding $200 million as damages.

Earlier, Justice Mohammed Idris adjourned the matter to March 6.

The judge adjourned the matter following requests for more time by the defence team – those representing companies linked to Mrs. Jonathan – to study the case.

Also joined in the suit are Skye Bank Plc, and a former Special Assistant to ex-President Jonathan, Waripama-Owei Dudafa.

Others include Pluto Property and Investment Company Ltd, Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Ltd, Transocean Property and Investment Company Ltd and Globus Integrated Service Ltd.

On Monday, Ifedayo Adedipe, counsel to Mrs. Jonathan, said he had served his application to all the parties in the matter and he is ready to proceed.

The counsel to the EFCC, Anana Nkeruwem, also said the agency was ready for the case.

But Jeff Kadiri, counsel to the fourth, fifth, and sixth defendants who was holding brief for lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, pleaded for an adjournment as he was just briefed on the matter.

“We have just been briefed on this matter and I am holding the brief for Chief Mike Ozekhome and we would be craving the indulgence of the court to enable us file the necessary process,” said Mr. Kadiri.

Justice Idris, who confirmed that counsel to the 4th, 5th and 6th respondents were first served the application in 2016 and later served on February 1, queried the delay and asked why Mr. Jeff needed more time to go through the matter.

In his response, Mr. Kadiri said, “I am not in the position to know that fact my lord, like I said earlier, I am holding the brief for Chief Mike Ozokheme  who said whether the court could grant us the 16th of March.”

Outside the court room, the women continued their chants.

After Mrs. Jonathan filed the suit last year, the women had maintained a constant appearance at the court premises on every hearing date of the case.

Mrs. Onyejere said the former first lady is the only ex-president’s wife who stood by Nigerian women as well as touched their lives.

“I want to ask, why freezing this woman’s account, this woman has been an independent woman and was part of the women who sponsored her husband during the governorship race, to tell you she’s solid and independent.

“Why are they harassing her, going to her house with masks, is she a criminal, going to her mother’s house and they are going about saying they won’t touch the husband. When you touch a man’s wife, haven’t you touched the man? When you touch the child, haven’t you touched the man?

“This is the time for stakeholders in the country to speak up. The likes of General Abdusalam Abubakar, General Ibrahim Babangida, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, they should speak up now, this is the time.”

Mrs. Onyejere denied claims that she had collected N40 million from the former first lady to mobilise the women.

“I am sponsoring this myself, who can pay me? She asked.

“Who can pay these women here? Among them are doctors, lawyers and other professionals from various tribes and walks of life; how much can you pay each of them? Patience may be in Germany I don’t know but I sponsor these buses that bring us here everyday. So the answer is no, nobody pays me.”


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