The Lagos Federal High Court on Oyinkan Abayomi Drive, Ikoyi was “painted red” last Wednesday as scores of flamboyantly dressed Niger Delta women showed up on the premises of the court. The occasionthey came to grace was the hearing of a N200m fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by wife of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Skye Bank Plc.
Patience filed the suit to take possession of a sum of $15m which the EFCC seized in July from a former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa.
But as Patience’s lawyer, Mr. Granville Abibo (SAN), was in the courtroom before Justice Babs Kuewumi, fighting judicially to wrest “Patience’s $15m” out of the grip of the EFCC, the ceremoniously dressed Niger Delta women also fought along with him but in their own way – extrajudicially.
As they were not lawyers and had no training in legal advocacy to be able to address the judge, they chose to take position outside the courtroom.
There, the women, who wore highly colourful “buba and wrapper” complete with head gears, chanted war songs in Ijaw and English languages.
There, they also brandished placards with different inscriptions.
The inscriptions on some of their placards read, “Ijaw people are in solidarity with Jonathan”; ‘Unfreeze ex-President Jonathan’s wife’s account’; ‘We urge the EFCC to abide by the rule of law’; and ‘Women must be heard’.
The colourful extrajudicial advocacy came to its crescendo when after the court hearing, the lawyers came out and the protesting women rushed towards the prosecutor’s vehicle and massed around it to ensure that their messages were well registered.