A civil society organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), on Monday came under severe criticism over its attack on the Senate with regards to the latter’s order on banks to unfreeze former first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan’s account.
It could be recalled that the Senator Samuel Anyanwu, PDP, Imo East-led Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions had after drilling the management of the four banks where Mrs Jonathan had accounts, directed that accounts not encumbered by any legal process be re-opened.
According to the Senate, the accounts were frozen without specific restriction orders from any competent court of law and some of the accounts were frozen based on administrative lapses.
The committee members were particularly displeased with what they called arbitrary manner the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, used the banks to close the accounts without complying with due process of law.
This came weeks after the House of Representatives gave similar directive to banks with regards to Mrs. Patience Jonathan.
However, SERAP quickly faulted the lawmakers, calling on the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara to urgently withdraw the directives to some banks.
“Checks and balances should ideally help contribute to the rule of law and strengthening our democratic dispensation but if one branch of government grows too strong and overreaching the country might be in trouble,” the group said in a statement signed by its Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale.http://dailypost.ng/2017/10/22/patience-jonathan-serap-blows-hot-directives-banks-warns-saraki-dogara/
In a reaction to the developments, the World Igbo Youth Congress, WIYC, descended on SERAP, describing it as President Muhammadu Buhari’s attack dog.
It said the SERAP had consistently showed undue interest in the matter affecting the former President Jonathan’s family while turning a deaf ear to corruption related matters involving ‘friends of the presidency.’
“The SERAP, which overtime has convinced Nigerians that it is the formal attack dog of the Buhari-led government is at it again. This time, and as usual, they pretend to love Nigeria and to be champions of anti-corruption.
“To say the least, SERAP has in the last few years, consistently carried out a clearly paid-attack on the Jonathan’s family. It is on record that no week has passed by without the organization hauling one missile or the other on the Jonathans.
“The question is- does is mean SERAP is blind to other corruption related matters in the country?
“Nigerians are aware that former PRTT boss, Abdulrasheed Maina, who was earlier declared wanted by the EFCC has not resurfaced but has been promoted to a Director and posted to the ministry of interior. Curiously, the SERAP that claims to be anti-corruption champion. has looked the other way.
“We say enough of this grandstanding. Enough of this showmanship from political jobbers who hide under different guise to satisfy their paymasters”, the group said in a statement signed by its Deputy National President, Dr. Fidelis Ugwu.
Meanwhile, in a related development, the Ohanaeze Youth Council and the Igbo Women for Change have lauded the National Assembly for always protecting the interest of the comman man in the country.
In their separate statements, Engr. Obinna Adibe and Prof. Nkechi Ogbonnaya, the national publicity secretary of OYC and executive director of the IWC, respectively, they urged both the Senate and the House of Representatives not to be deterred by unnecessary and unwarranted attacks.
“We want to commend both the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives for their bold actions in the discharge of their duties. Nigerians are now convinced that we now have a robust legislature that can no longer be pocketed by the executive to the detriment of the masses”, Adibe said in his statement.
Similarly, Ogbonnaya called on the the EFCC “to as a matter of urgency leave the Jonathan’s family alone, having served this country and handed over peacefully.
“This unjust persecution in the name of prosecution has gone on for too long and we are saying that it is high ended it came to an end.
“We are also urging the banks to comply with the directives given by the National Assembly in connection to the accounts belonging to Dame Patience Jonathan.”