Some human rights and anti-corruption activists have described the probe of former First Lady, Patience Jonathan by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as indirectly probing ex-President Goodluck Jonathan himself.
The lawyers in a statement jointly issued yesterday in Abuja by Mr Ugochukwu Osuagwu, Mr. Elvis Offor, Miss Vina Amaka, Mr Benard Nwauduna, Mr Divine Ofuma and made available to LEADERSHIP , said that the probe of former First Lady could lead to uprising in the Niger Delta region.
The statement said: “The former president is a crowd puller. One must exercise caution when you begin to probe his wife. The South South people could see this as probing former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“The country is a bit weak now in terms of ethnic bonding. The ethnic bond is weak so caution should be exercised by the anti-corruption agency.
“Nigeria’s ethnic bond is still shaking. We should exercise caution so as to avoid the foot soldiers on the streets who see the former president as their idol.”
The statement said the EFCC is indirectly probing former President Jonathan and urged it to be cautious in its probe of the former lady.
“The EFCC and the wife of the former president can resolve this issue quietly without involving the media. Nobody says the EFCC should not do its work. In fact they should be allowed to do their work but caution should be exercised.
“Our position is that the office of the president must be respected by citizens as that position is the highest position in the land. We advise that the president has to caution and call Magu and EFCC to order.”
“We are not against the fight against corruption by the EFCC but let it be done with decency and must not be done or seen as unleashing so much vendetta, vindictiveness and carefully planned and rehearsed acts of witch- hunt against Mrs Patience Jonathan.
“This is a woman who has undergone 15 major operations and every Nigerian was praying for her at that period and do not deserve this treatment. The immediate past president and the wife deserve respect.
“There is no need saying you are probing the wife of immediate past president. You are probing the husband as they are one,” it added.