By Luminous Jannamike, ABUJA
A middle-aged woman, Mrs Patience Usman, has called on Nigerians for help over what she described as her “illegal detention” by operatives of the Special Weapon and Tactics unit (SWAT) from the Nigeria Police Force headquarters, Abuja.
The lady, in a statement on Thursday by her lawyer, Tony Itedjere (Esq), stated that she was arrested and held incommunicado at the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FCIID, Abuja) after she petitioned the FCTA Department of Cooperatives, exposing alleged unwholesome practices by a multi-purpose cooperative society where she hitherto worked as member and administrative staff.
According to Usman, she was left with no choice but to blow the whistle when all efforts by her to ensure that the said Cooperative Society conducted its affairs in conformity with the provision of the Nigerian Corporative Societies Act and Regulations, as well as global standard best practice, were frustrated by some powerful people in the organization.
Usman reiterated her innocence in a case of breach of trust levelled against her in a counter-petition to the Police Force Headquarters by those bent on silencing her for exposing the alleged unlawful activities by the Cooperative Society.
Her lawyer said, “It is our client’s brief, of which we have no reason to doubt her, that since the inception of the above named cooperative society registered on the 11th day of June 2018 with Registration Number: RC 27426 and having its corporate address at TF 12 Olive Plaza, Alexandria Crescent, Aminu Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja, it has failed to conduct its affairs in line with the Corporative Societies Act, Regulations and its own Constitution.
“We find it instructive to state that right from the date of registration, our client an erstwhile member/staff of the cooperative society employed all reasonable measures to ensure the affairs of said Co-operative Society were conducted in conformity with the provision of the Nigerian Corporative Societies Act and Regulations, as well as her Constitution and the accepted standard best practice.
“Her efforts, however, met with stiff opposition by the chairman, John Seyina Malu, and his wife resulting in our client’s withdrawal of her service/membership sometime in April 2021,” Itedjere added.
When contacted, Malu accused Usman of mismanaging the resources of the organization while she worked as a member and staff of the Co-operative Society; stating that he was ready to appear in court to clear his name and also tender before the court all evidence that he was a victim of her bad decisions
He said, “I have not used my position to order anyone’s arrest. The manager of the cooperative, Mr Gbenga in collaboration with our lawyers drafted the petition against her.
“The police has a right to invite any suspect, but I don’t know where she is being detained or the police unit that invited her (for investigation). I am hoping that the matter will eventually go to court so that I can prove my case and tender my evidence before the law.”
Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, SWAT, Force Headquarters, DCP Ayuba Usman, said the police was investigating a case of forgery, fraudulent act, breach of trust and cheating in which the lady’s name was mentioned.