by Kolapo Olapoju
First Lady, Patience Jonathan, has denied being paid N3 billion by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to facilitate the agency’s 2015 Budget.
Media reports had claimed that asides from receiving the said amount, Jonathan also collaborated with a former Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, in a number of schemes that allowed them loot the coffers of the NDDC.
However, the first lady, in a statement released by her media assistant, Ayo Adewuyi, where he described the report as nothing but a ruse.
Adewuyi stated that the report was deliberately engineered by opponents of the first lady, to mislead the public and draw them into their hate campaign against her.
He added that the intention of the orchestrators was to portray Mrs Jonathan as an overbearing and intrusive woman.
The statement read: “Nigerians are very conversant with the workings of the National Assembly regarding passage of Budgets. Parliamentary process requires that the Appropriation Bill goes through first reading, second reading and third reading and subsequent harmonisation by the two chambers.”
“One then wonders at which level of this process the First Lady influenced the passage of NDDC Budget that warranted her being paid N3billion for the alleged ‘Consultancy.’ Therefore, it will be impossible for one single person to influence its passage or is the author trying to indict our lawmakers?”
“The report is therefore, to say the least, dubious, diversionary, unfair, unkind, and totally unacceptable. Dame Patience Jonathan did no such thing.”