By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA—The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petition, yesterday, asked the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, to disclose the identifies of persons who tipped them for a raid on a property belonging to the former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.
The demand was made at a hearing which followed a petition recently submitted by Mrs. Jonathan, alleging harassment by officials of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, as well as the Nigeria Police.
Defending its position, the NDLEA, which was the only respondent present at the hearing, agreed that it carried out a raid on a property located at Igbeti Rock Street, Maitama, Abuja.
Represented by a director in the agency, Femi Oloruntoba, the agency said the raid was carried out based on a tip off.
He said that the laws establishing the agency empower it to carry out operations, stressing that the identity cards of the officials were their warrant.
He said that giving pre-information to occupant was usually in their totem as that would make the suspect hide the substance.
The NDLEA scribe was however, confronted with the question of whether the agency tenders apology to people in the event of not discovering anything unlawful from a property.
Earlier, the legal team from Granville Abibo (SAN) & Co, led by Sammie Somiari, who petitioned the House on behalf of Mrs Jonathan, had earlier told the committee that the EFCC and other government agencies had endlessly harassed the former first lady in the media unjustly.
The team also said that various accounts of the former first lady including those of Aridolf Jo Resort Wellness and Spa Limited off Okota Estate and Finchley Top Homes Limited with branches in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Yenagoa, had been frozen.
According to them, it had not only paralyzed activities of the ventures but also affected salaries of the staff for months.
“The EFCC has serially orchestrated a design to freeze the personal accounts of Mrs Jonathan, her siblings and other relations and associates,” Somaira said.
Ruling on the matter, the chairman of the Committee, Nkem Abonta, directed the secretariat to send reminders to the agencies and asked them to appear on September 19.