EFCC Finds N2.1 Billion in Patience Jonathan’s Late Mom’s Account
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) claims it has traced N2.114bn to the bank account of Magel Resort Limited, which was allegedly operated by former First Lady Patience Jonathan and her late mother, Charity Oba.
The EFCC said the discovery of the money brings the total amount traced to Mrs Jonathan to N17 billion, the Punch reports.
Last week Mrs Jonathan filed a N2 billion fundamental human rights suit against the EFCC accusing the anti-graft commission of subjecting her to psychological trauma and unnecessary persecution by freezing her accounts and those of her relatives, including the account of her late mother.
However, the EFCC told the Punch that Mrs Jonathan used her non-governmental organisations to perpetrate fraud.
The report adds that at least N17bn, including funds from some government agencies, were paid into the accounts of Mrs. Jonathan’s NGOs.
The report states, “Another company owned by Mrs Jonathan is Magel Resort Ltd. It was incorporated by Mrs. Jonathan’s late mother. But Patience Jonathan became the sole signatory to the account of the company by board resolution upon the demise of her mother.
“Though registered as a resort agency, sources at the EFCC disclosed that the agency was probing the circumstances in which the firm secured over N200m IT contract from the National Information Technology Development Agency.
“The contract was allegedly bankrolled through the National Information Technology Development Fund. Several other persons under investigation for money laundering by the anti-graft agency were discovered to have made payments into the company’s account including a hotelier in Central Area, Abuja, who has been invited for questioning.
“The total sum allegedly laundered through the account of Magel Resort Limited, owned by Mrs Jonathan and her late mother, is put at N2.114bn.”
The commission alleged that several government agencies made payment into the Diamond Bank account of another NGO, Ariwabai Aruera Reach Out Foundation.
The EFCC claims that an inflow of N2.4bn was allegedly recorded in the account between 2009 and 2015.
The commission also alleged that some of the NGOs had Patience’s domestic servants as directors.
“Investigations equally discovered that Mrs. Jonathan maintains a dollar account with Diamond Bank which received huge financial inflow from her domestic aides.
“Some of the domestic aides that made payments into the accounts are also trustees of her so-called NGO and director in her companies. The balance in the account was $12,831,173.
“Another dollar account of the former First Lady was discovered in Skye Bank. Inflows into the account came through deposits by domestic aides of Mrs. Jonathan. Intelligence reports indicate that most of the purchase of luxury items by the former First Lady was through the Platinum card of the account. The total amount in the account is $7.9m.” The report says.
The anti-graft agency said a total of N1.8bn was deposited in the account of Flinchley Top Homes Limited, another company linked to Mrs Jonathan by her domestic aides between 2009 and 2015.
Part of the report reads, “Another discovery was the N2.1bn and N1.8bn deposited into the accounts of AM PM Global Network Limited and Pagmat Oil and Gas Limited respectively, between 2009 and 2015. Both companies are linked to the former First Lady.
“Another N1.140bn was also allegedly laundered by Mrs. Jonathan through the account of Lawari Furniture and Baths Limited, whose address is given as 100 Akamfa Road, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.”
In his reaction, the Chief Press Secretary to the former President’s wife, Belema Meshack-Hart, urged the EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, to honour the National Assembly’s invitation rather than engage in media trial.