The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has placed a ‘No Debit Order’ on a Unity Bank account belonging to business mogul and socialite, Ms Bola Shagaya, over alleged links to former First Lady, Dame Patience Joanthan.
Operatives of the anti-corruption commission were said to have uncovered links between Ms Shagaya and the former First Lady while investigating the latter for allegedly diverting some sums of money while her husband was in office.
One EFCC source said investigators discovered unusual cash transfers from Ms Shagaya’s account to an account owned by Mrs Jonathan.
The EFCC source is quoted by the Punch to have said, “When we were investigating Patience and looking into her accounts, we discovered that Bola Shagaya had been making huge and regular payments into her (Patience’s) bank account.
“We then discovered that the monies were kickbacks. The Ministry of Trade and Investment gave suspicious commission to Shagaya’s company on every crude oil sent abroad. The commission was put in an account for Bola Shagaya. The money will then go to Patience’s account. So we started investigating her.
“We were able to trace the N500m to her account at Unity Bank. So, we placed a ‘No Debit Order’ on the account.”
The source added that when Ms Bola Shagaya realised that her account had been frozen, she tried to use her position as a board member of the bank to lift the restriction but the EFCC warned the bank that doing such would amount to criminal conspiracy.
Meanwhile, Mrs Jonathan is said to have attempted making a withdrawal of $5m from her frozen account at Skye Bank.
An EFCC source said, “We received an alert from Skye Bank during the week that Patience attempted to withdraw $5m from her personal account titled Patience Ibifaka Jonathan which is domiciled at the bank.
“We immediately told the bank not to allow any withdrawal because a ‘No Debit Order’ had been placed on the account.”
The former First Lady has had a running battle with the EFCC over the seized sums of money. Recently, a court in Lagos convicted 4 firms which pleaded guilty to helping a former Special Adviser to ex-Presidnt Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Mr Waripamowei Dudafa launder the money.