The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, has denied reports that she was paid N3 billion by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, for “facilitating the NDDC 2015 budget.
A statement issued by the Media Assistant to the First Lady, Ayo Adewuyi yesterday, said the first lady was not a member of the National Assembly and could not have facilitated the passage of the NDDC budget.The media aide to the first lady, who was reacting to an unnamed media report, said the report was “nothing but a hoax, aimed at misleading unsuspecting members of the public, recruit them into their hate campaign against the first lady and to again portray Dame Patience Jonathan as an overbearing and intrusive woman against her well-known passion for peace and advancement of the course of women and children in Nigeria.”
Part of the statement read: “The report went on to say that the first lady collaborated with the former Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, in a number of schemes that enabled them loot the resources of the NDDC.“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 N3 billion 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 law makers?“The report is, therefore, to say the least, dubious, diversionary, unfair, unkind, and therefore totally unacceptable. Dame Patience Jonathan did no such thing.”