Patience Jonathan Police explain why it raided home of ex-First Lady

The Police said it didn't know that the property it raided belongs to former First Lady Patience Jonathan

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Patience Jonathan play

Former First Lady, Patience Jonathan

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When Police personnel raided the home of former Nigeria First Lady, Patience Jonathan, it was because they expected to find a stash of illicit cash in the apartment.

The raid was carried out by the Special Investigation Panel (SIP) headed by a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Ali Amodu, Punch reports.

On Thursday, Pulse had detailed how the apartment located on Igbeti Rock street in the Maitama District of Abuja, was ransacked and vandalised.

At the time of the raid, the property was said to belong to Mrs. Jonathan's brother, Afeminaso Nyingieresaka.

Former First Lady, Patience Jonathan play Former Nigeria First Lady Patience Jonathan (Total Media)

 

There were reports that the former First Lady purchased the property for her brother.

However, when the Police stormed the property, they were told that the property belongs to Mrs Dame Patience Faka Jonathan.

"At the house, the security men said the house belonged to one Jaga, a Rivers State indigene and the team leader was directed to call the owner", Punch quotes one of its police sources as saying.

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According to an unnamed Police source who spoke to the Newspaper, the Police said it didn't know that the property belongs to the former First Lady before the raid.

"The security man gave the phone to the team leader and she identified herself as former First Lady".

Mrs. Jonathan thereafter answered the call in Pidgin English.

"She spoke in Pidgin English and told the operatives to go and take whatever they kept in the house. The team leader advised her to send her lawyer and she did. The house was searched in the lawyer's presence".

How $22.3m Hit Ex-First Lady Patience Jonathan’s Bank Accounts play

How $22.3m Hit Ex-First Lady Patience Jonathan’s Bank Accounts

 

The account from the Police source differs significantly from what the security personnel watching over the premises, Beshel Jeremiah, rendered in the wake of the raid.

Jeremiah said the Police officers asked for a certain Justice Ahmed. He also said he was rough handled before the apartment was raided.

"They said they were looking for one Justice Ahmed. I said I don't know any Justice Ahmed...that this place is not owned by any Justice. They said they want to know the person that owned this place. I told them that I was just transferred to this place on the 20th of December", Jeremiah said.

He added that: "They broke the gate. They came in with a lot of weapons. They came in with hammer, they came in with Chisel...they came here with sticks. They were also armed with guns. They were 20 of them. They were very many. They overpowered me. There was nothing else I could do save to allow them in".

Contrary to the claims of the Police, Ogboli Charles who is Mrs. Jonathan's lawyer, said the raid was far from civil.

"You can see that they forced themselves into the apartment. You can see the door. They took whichever items they wanted. They know best. It is unfortunate that this is happening in this area. This is not the first time", Charles said.

Charles added that; "I wonder what they (the police) want to gain from all these. In their report, they said no incriminating document or whatever, was found there".

According to the story from Punch, the Police was acting on a tip off--it was an operation to recover stolen money hid in the property.

play IGP Ibrahim Idris visits Kafanchan, Kaduna (Punch)

 

Punch writes that the Police "acted at the behest of the Federal Government Asset Recovery and Forfeiture Committee.

"Sources explained that an informant had tipped the federal government about alleged huge stolen cash hidden in the building and in three other different locations in the Federal Capital Territory.

"It was learnt that the informant, who told the government about the cash in the Maitama property, had hinted that the suspect planned to move the money any time.

"Following the intelligence report, the SIP operatives stormed the duplex on Wednesday but did not find any cash".

Charles said the Police was never going to find any illicit stash of cash in the duplex because it had none.

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan delivers a speech in Lagos on February 19, 2015 play Former President Goodluck Jonathan (AFP/File)

 

"They said they got information that there was a huge amount of money in the house. Are they saying that within the period of time they came, the money disappeared within an interval of 30 minutes?

"As a matter of fact, the siblings of the former First Lady are no longer staying there. They have moved to Port Harcourt for more than a year now. So, there is nothing they (Police) can allege that is found and that means they intended to do something else.

"Madam (Patience) did not give them the authority to go ahead with that search", Charles concluded, disputing the Police' claim that they were given permission by Mrs. Jonathan before the raid.

Police spokesperson, Don Awunah, was not immediately available for comments for this story.

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