Yemisi, wife of the immediate past governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam escaped being stoned to death on Sunday after she was attacked by some traders in Abuja.
It was gathered that the enraged traders had taken to the streets to protest alleged extortion and continued denial of access to their shops at the Wuye Ultra Modern Market.
The market was developed by All Purpose Shelter Development Company, a firm having links with Mrs. Suswam and in which she is said to be the major financier.
The former Benue State First Lady was held hostage for some hours in the market by the traders who accused her of conniving with the authorities of the Federal Capital Development Authority not only in extorting money from them but also denying them access to the shops they have since paid for.
The Chairman of Association of Wuye Ultra Modern Market Allottees, Chief Ifeanyi Ezejim, said the traders paid various amounts of money ranging between N2,000 to N8,000 as allocation fee to the FCDA.
Ezejim therefore asked the FCDA authorities to give them the statutory fees so that they can pay and move into their
shops to start their businesses.
The protest, according to him, was informed by an order of an Abuja High Court, which had asked the FCDA to declare the statutory fees for the shops, but which the latter had not obeyed.
He said: “Somebody somewhere who believes that he or she is above the law is now using the police to stop the traders from doing their businesses.
“This is why we are protesting. We are not happy and we will not continue to wait to be accepting all these intimidation.
“The intimidation is too much and I don’t know the type of country we are that the police who supposed to be adhering to the law of the land are going against the law.
“So, we are not happy with the conduct of the Nigeria police today.
“We have gone to the FCDA and they did not say that we have no allocation here.
“They did not say we did not pay for allocation of shops here even though we are hearing rumour here now that FCDA said that we did not pay anything.
“We are telling them here that ‘give us the statutory fee so that we pay and continue our businesses’.
“The court has even told the FCDA that give these people the statutory fees so that they can pay and they are not ready to do it.
“We have so far paid what is required of us but we are talking of the statutory fees now.”