Insiders: “The house does not belong to Patience Jonathan”

The Nigerian government doesn’t seem to have a lot of support on the matter of the Jonathan raid

Most of our Insiders believe that the style and approach by the police in their raid on the said former first lady’s house was questionable.

The raid on the former first lady’s house by the Nigerian police yesterday is perhaps the year’s first histrionics and drama that the Nigerian state is known for, though some of the Insiders believe that the premises does not belong to the former first lady but to her brother.

An Insider with the PDP said “First, the house does not belong to Patience Jonathan. It was said to belong to her brother. I personally hate this whole idea of people trying to drag the name of former President Goodluck Jonathan to every alleged corruption to have taken place in his government…

Contrarily, “Patience Jonathan’s house was not visited by the police; rather her brother’s was. Patience Jonathan and her brother are citizens of Nigeria who are subject to the laws of Nigeria. If the police or any law enforcement agency has any lawful need to interact with them, so be it” said this APC insider.

It is not the raid itself that generates controversy but the style with which it was carried out. The police were said to have raided the house in a Gestapo style invasion, there was no presentation of any search warrant and there is no information that the owner of the house was pre-informed before the raid.

The style and manner of law enforcement and prosecution in Nigeria reflects an underlying inspiration from the years of military rule. It is an institutional problem seeing that nothing has changed after 18 years of uninterrupted democracy which has produced four different national leaderships. Under the current administration however, we have seen different agencies adopt the same forceful approach to prosecuting the war on corruption- the police, the EFCC and the DSS. Not only is this not sustainable, it is counterproductive.”

Without a proper search warrant, you cannot invade the privacy or have access to somebody else’s privacy, on that basis there is a clear violation because no such search warrant was presented to whoever was there as a material sign; on the other hand, nobody is told why the police is invading the privacy of a former first lady, so for some of us down south, we see this as a calculated attempt to rubbish the image, reputation of the former first lady. On the face of it, there is no basis to warrant this kind of action by the security agents’’ said an Insider in the PDP.

Perhaps, from the above, the question is more with the style and approach of the security agency in the prosecution of the war against corruption, which also has become a subject of controversy after the event of yesterday.

There is nothing wrong in carrying out raids so long as there is probable cause and the raiding security agency obtained an actionable search warrant or else, whatever evidence obtained during the raid will be null and void and inadmissible in court should the case ever proceed to the level” says an Insider in  the APC.

If the question is that of legality, then to this point, we cannot say for sure that the police has any warrant to invade the said house, as they are yet to come out with any statement as regards what happened yesterday. There is nothing wrong in carrying out investigations on people suspected of corruption, there are laws that empower the security agencies on this, but one wonders why the Nigerian security agencies derive joy in flouting the law in the process of carrying out their investigations. The implication, most times is that this process compromises the investigation and limits them from proceeding on the case.

There are constitutional and legal procedures and processes for things. The big question should be if those processes or procedures were adhered to. If the raiding of Patience Jonathan’s house was done in a Gestapo or commando manner without recourse to what the law permits/says, typical of flawless regimes, then it is not just wrong, it is dangerous”.

Yet none of the security agencies has issued any public statement on this, thus further complicating the whole matter, the former first lady was investigated by the EFCC, hence if her house was invaded or raided by the police without any EFCC official, there is need for answers. This is a democracy, and in democracies, the state is accountable to the people, and even when people are under investigations or suspected of any act against the law, things are still expected to be done within the ambit of the law. Cases such as this are even more sensitive in Nigeria because of the incendiary nature of our social construct, especially if we must avoid political interpretations to acts such as this.

People sectionalize some cases, my worry is that it seems we have two laws in the country, one for the poor and one for the rich, if those who are rich are under investigation, we always turn it into bigger issues, a lot of people are being arrested, a lot of people’s houses are being taken over, and nobody reports it. He concluded that the law is not a respecter of anyone and those who are exercising it should do it within its ambit” said an Insider who works for the Labour Party.

Some Insiders were however careful about delving into the issue, some of them withheld their comments until the security agency issues a public statement on the matter.

These are the members of The YNaija Insiders (Politics) – not all of whom participated this week:

Bukola Ogunyemi (NA), Amara Nwakpa (NA), Cheta Nwanze (NA), Seun Onigbinde (NA), Clarence Onyekwere (NA), Babatunde Ajileye (NA), Mark Amaza (NA), Saratu Abiola (NA), Henry Okelue (APC), Prince Deji Adeyanju (NA), John Paul Akinduro (LP), Ebubedike Akabua (NA), Ikemesit Effiong (NA), Saatah Nubari (NA), Chinedu Ekeeke (NA), Abdul Mahmud (NA), Tunji Andrews (NA), Ileowo Kikiowo (APC), Ikenna Okonkwo (NA), Stanley Azuakola (NA), Gbenga Olorunpomi (APC), Rinsola Abiola (APC), Ayobami Oyalowo (APC), Oluseun Odewale (APC), Blossom Ozurumba (NA), Anthony Ehilebo (PDP), Ohimai Amaize (NA), Bimbo Oke (PDP), Abigail Anaba (NA), Tony ‘Pox’ Iribor (NA), Michael Orodare (LP), Henry Nwazuruahu (PDP), Ojugo ‘Ojay’ Onyelukachukwu (PDP), Viola Okoli (PDP), Ariyo Dare Atoye (PDP), Oraye Franklin (PDP), Lai Labode (PDP), Akaebube (APGA), Aziza Uko (NA), Kayode Ajulo (LP).

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