EFCC Seeks Forfeiture of Patience Jonathan Funds Linked To Several Accounts

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have decided to give the former first lady Patience Jonathan sleepless night with the never ending allegations of fraud and embezzlement.

On Monday, January 15, 2016, the commission filed an ex-parte application seeking an order of interim forfeiture of various sums of money linked to the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan in 15 bank accounts.

The ex parte application is supported by a 15-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Huleji Tukura, an investigator with the EFCC.

The application was brought pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act no. 14, 2006 and Section 44 (2) b of the 1999 Constitution.
The former First Lady is joined in the suit alongside Globus Integrated Services Limited, Finchley Top Homes Limited and Am-Pm Global Network Limited.

Others respondents are: Pagmat Oil And Gas Limited, Magel Resort Limited And Esther Oba.
Moving the application before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel to the EFCC, prayed for an order of the court to forfeit to the Federal Government the total sum of $3,645,013.73 (Three Million, Six Hundred and Forty Five Thousand, Thirteen United States Dollar, Seventy-three Cent) found by the Commission in account No.2031277178 domiciled with First Bank of Nigeria Plc in the name of the first respondent, which sum is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.

Oyedepo, among others, also prayed for an order of the court forfeiting to the Federal Government the total sum of $4,361,393.24(Four Million, Three Hundred and Sixty One Thousand, Three Hundred and Ninety Three United States Dollar, Twenty Four Cent) found by the Commission in account No.1771421299 domiciled with Skye Bank Plc in the name of the second respondent, which sum is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.

However, Oyedepo, while moving the application, was interrupted by counsels to Jonathan led by Ifedayo Adedipe, SAN and Mike Ezekhome, SAN.

Jonathan’s lawyers challenged the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the ex parteapplication.
They further argued that the funds, which the Commission is seeking to seize, were subject of litigation, adding that “the suit is before some other courts.”

In his response, Oyedepo kicked, arguing that Jonathan’s lawyers had no right of hearing.
Oyedepo also expressed shock over the presence of the defence counsel in court today, saying “It is an ex parte application.”

After listening to both parties, Justice Olatoregun adjourned till January 23, 2018 and directed the EFCC to file an affidavit to establish its claim that there are no pending law suits relating to the funds before other courts.

 

Court Unfreezes 16 Accounts Belonging To Patience Jonathan

After months of struggle with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),  the Federal High Court in Abuja has reversed its order made on May 30, to freeze 16 accounts belonging to Patience Jonathan, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

At the hearing of an application filed by the former first lady today December 5th, the presiding judge, Justice Binta Nyako, withdrew the order on the grounds that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which secured the freezing order, failed to conduct a proper investigation into the case.

Justice Nyako’s decision was sequel to an application by the counsel to Mrs. Jonathan, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), asking the court to set aside the ex-parte motion filed by the EFCC for continued control of the accounts.

Speaking to journalists outside the court, Ozekhome disclosed that the court in addition, ordered the EFCC to conduct its investigation within 90 days of freezing the accounts in May, but that the commission failed to carry out the said investigation.

“The judge, Justice Binta, had given the EFCC 90 days within which to investigate and prosecute parties involved in the allegations but they never did that. So we asked the court to set aside the interim forfeiture order. The judge set aside the order granted on May 30,” Ozekhome said.

 

N5.1b Fraud: Witness Reveals How Jonathan’s Aide Allegedly Laundered Money For Patience

Orji Chukwuma, a persecution witness in the ongoing trial of a former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to the former President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, on Tuesday told Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, how Mr. Dudafa allegedly laundered several billions of Naira for former First Lady, Patience Jonathan.

Mr. Dudafa is standing trial alongside Joseph Iwuejo, his ex-account officer, who allegedly aided him to perpetuate the fraud.

Messrs. Dudafa and Iwuejo, who also claimed to be ‘Taiwo Ebenezer’ and ‘Olugbenga Isaiah’, between June 2013 and June 2015, were alleged to have used different companies to fraudulently launder various sums of money to the tune of N5.1 billion.

At the resumed hearing today, Mr. Chukwuma, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, told the court how one Murtala Abubakar, a Bureau de Change operator, admitted having collected several million in dollars from Dudafa.

“We discovered, in the course of our investigation, that Abubakar was directed to pay the various sums of money into different accounts provided by Dudafa,” Chukwuma said.

Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, Mr. Chukwuma also told the court that the money was given to Mr. Dudafa at the Aso Rock Villa by Patience, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Giving further testimony, Mr. Chukwuma told the court that Mr. Dudafa used some companies: ABY Resources Limited; Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited; Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Ibejige Services Limited and DeJakes Fast Food & Restaurant Nigeria Limited to warehouse and manage the monies found in his possession.

The prosecution witness further stated that the defendant did not declare his interest in these companies in his Asset Declaration Form and that the monies found in his accounts at two new generation banks were proceeds of crime.

Also, Mr. Dudafa, through his lawyer, filed an application urging the court to release his international passport temporarily to enable him to go for a medical appointment outside the country.

In his response, the prosecution counsel, Mr. Oyedepo urged the court not to grant the application on the grounds that the EFCC had written to a Lagos State government hospital to examine Mr. Dudafa’s health and to determine whether he could be treated in the country or abroad.

Mr. Oyedepo, however, told the court that he had yet to receive any response from the hospital.
Consequently, Justice Idris adjourned to October 24 for the hearing of the application and November 14 and 15, 2017 for the continuation of trial.

I Spent N3.5bn On Sick Children – Patience Jonathan

The war between former First Lady, Patience Jonathan and the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC) is far from over.

After crying out for help saying the commission wouldn’t let her be, she has responded to the allegation that her foundation was used to launder stolen funds.

She said her foundation Aruera Reachout Foundation, spent over N3.5bn for the treatment of 700 children and adults with heart-related ailments in a statement by her Chief Press Secretary, Belema Meshack-Hart, on Thursday.

Mrs. Jonathan said her foundation “is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation established in 2006.”

She said the foundation had a medical unit which sponsors the treatment and surgery of children and some adults with heart conditions.

The statement added, “Till date, over 700 children have benefited from the Aruera Reachout Foundation, this alone cost the foundation billions, it is not news that the logistics involved in the treatment of heart disease cost over N5m per child.

“This demonstrates the caring and maternal nature of Nigeria’s former first lady. God has used her as an instrument to positively touch the lives of some of our nation’s sick children, to make them healthy and happy through the appropriate medical intervention, it is now strange and sad that the EFCC will allege that such foundation only existed to launder funds.

“The many sick children that would have died but now live a happy life will stand as testament against the baseless propaganda and shameless allegation of the EFCC. It is worthy of note that the foundation which is duly registered by the CAC is free to receive donations from reputable individuals and organisations for its projects just like any other NGO.”

 

Battle Between Patience Jonathan And EFCC Continues As New Accusations Are Made

Former Nigerian First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan has been fighting several battles with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) for what seems to be ages since her husband lost his Presidential bid for a second term. In events that occured throughout the year, not only was the former first lady’s accounts freezed by the commission, her close friends and associates also had to dance to the tune.

In a recent development Patience has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), of targeting her family for a witch hunt and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene.

A statement issued by her media aide, Mr Belema Meshack-Hart, on Monday in Abuja, quoted Mrs. Jonathan as saying that the EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu, was “prosecuting a plot to destroy my family”.

“Magu’s vindictive disposition towards my family is portraying the organisation as an agency for revenge,” it further quoted her as saying.

She accused the EFCC of “unjustified witch hunt”, saying that no other former first lady had faced “such brazen intimidation in the history of this country”.

“For almost three years, the EFCC has beamed its searchlight on me and my family members, including my siblings and parents, as well as my Foundation and Non-Governmental Organisation.

“As a tradition, every First Lady in this country has had one pet project or the other, with which they sought to intervene in the lives of the less privileged.

“Mrs. Jonathan started her NGO in Bayelsa State 11 years ago, when her husband was the Governor of that State.

“With it, she has, over the years, touched the lives of many Nigerians indifferent ways.

“It is surprising that while other First ladies and their pet projects were left alone, it is only her activities and
that of her NGOs that are being subjected to indefinite probe and microscopic scrutiny.

“In a method that clearly bears out the axiom of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it, the EFCC has maliciously linked Mrs. Jonathan to all kinds of fake possessions and properties around the country.

“It has come to a point where all the magnificent edifices in Abuja, Yenagoa or Port Harcourt are presented
to the media as belonging to Mrs. Patience Jonathan. She has been accused of owning several plots of land in many cities across the country, including places she has never visited.

“The most astonishing of all is that her close relatives are being victimized and their personal properties are being investigated,” the statement stated.

It urged Buhari to intervene on the matter to ensure justice for the former first family and also ensure that the EFCC’s actions were not interpreted as part of a larger plot to disgrace his (Buhari)’s predecessor.

 

Patience Jonathan Gets Help From House Of Reps

The Committee on Public Petitions at The House of Representatives  yesterday ordered banks where Patience Jonathan, her friends and relatives, have accounts to unfreeze them forthwith, following the hardships they were going through due to lack of funds.

The order followed a petition to the House by Mrs. Jonathan’s counsels, led by Ayodeji Adedipe, complaining of the account closures by certain banks, without adherence to due process.

The committee chaired by Uzoma Nkem-Abonta had in July this year, upon the receipt of the petition dated May 4, 2017 invited officials of the affected banks, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to explain their roles.

At yesterday’s resumed hearing, Director, Enforcement of FIRS, Emeka Obiago, denied witch-hunting Mrs. Jonathan, saying officials of the service had embarked on enforcement of Aridolf Jo Resort Wellness and Spa Ltd, believed to be owned by the wife of the former president, over Valued Added Tax (VAT) evasion, but were rebuffed by some youths in the community.

He said following the attacks on the enforcement agents, the service wrote a letter to the Inspector General of Police, who promised to act on the complaint.

He accused the former first lady’s business firm of N10 million tax liabilities, which he said informed the planned raid, revealing that the company had up to this moment, paid N100,000 only.

Adedipe however denied the claim, prompting Nkem-Abonta to give the two parties 14 days to reconcile their differences and report back to the committee.

In adjourning further hearing on the matter until October 4, this year, Nkem-Abonta regretted the absence of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleged by the petitioner as the brain behind freezing the accounts.

He said the committee might be compelled to take actions within the ambit of the law should the commission fail to appear before it on the next adjourned date.

Meanwhile, the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal has fixed November 3, 2017 to hear an appeal filed by the wife of the former President against the temporary forfeiture of the sum of $5.9 million found in her Skye Bank account.

Reps Committee Summons EFCC, Others Over Patience Jonathan

The House of Representatives on Wednesday asked National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for identities of informants whose tip-off led to a raid on former First Lady, Patience Jonathan’s property.

The House’s Committee on Public Petition gave the order on Wednesday in its session on a petition on incessant harassment of herself and family sent to it by the former first lady.

The committee also summoned the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Police to appear as defendants in the petition.

A Director in the NDLEA, Mr Femi Oloruntoba, had told the committee at the hearing that the agency got a tip-off from an unnamed source that the property located at Igbeti Rock Street, Maitama, Abuja, was being used for illicit drug activities.

“Based on the information, eight officers of the agency visited the premises after surveillance was conducted on it. It is not true that 50 officers from my agency visited the premises,” he said.

According to Oloruntoba, the officer who met two occupants of the premises provided them with a search endorsement form, which they endorsed indicating that the search was conducted without any damage to the property or loss of items.

He said that the agency was not aware that the premises belonged to the former first lady, adding that a letter was written by a solicitor on behalf of a man who claimed to be the owner of the premises.

Consequently, the committee requested NDLEA to provide it with the identity of the claimed source before the next adjourned date.

The legal team from Granville Abibo & Co. led by Mr Sammie Somiari, who petitioned the lower chamber on behalf of Mrs Jonathan, had earlier told the committee that it would adopt the initial petition as its brief in the matter.

Somiari added that additional documents were available to substantiate whatever they had raised in the petition.

He said the respondents, including the mentioned agencies, had engaged in wanton attacks on the former first lady and her relations.

He cited different media reports and newspaper headlines as pointers to the allegation of attacks on Jonathan.

He said “the EFCC has serially orchestrated a design to freeze the personal accounts of Mrs Jonathan, her siblings and other relations and associates

“A case in point is one Aridolf Jo Resort Wellness and Spa Ltd off Okota Estate and Finchley Top Homes Limited which were all shut down without any justifiable reason by the EFCC with their accounts frozen.”

The committee asked its secretariat to send reminders to all agencies joined in the case that was yet to appear to provide documents regarding their role in the matter.

It adjourned its session to Sept. 19, 2017.

Patience Jonathan Runs To House of Representatives For Rescue

It is no news that Former First Lady Mrs. Patience Jonathan has been in troubled waters with the Economic and Finacial Crimes Commission( EFCC). In a recent report Patience Jonathan claimed in a letter advocating to the House of Representative to intervene as EFCC’s attempts to assinate her.

According to her, “There have been assassination attempts, at least twice, between February and April, 2017, against our client ostensibly by the operatives of the EFCC along the Yenagoa-Mbaima Road, Bayelsa State, in furtherance of its unlawful actions against the former first family.”

Asides the EFCC, the Anti-Graft Agency have also been accused of bugging her telephone lines. Patience Jonathan alleged that agents of the commission have been sending her threatening text messages.

She said, “The EFCC and its agents have repeatedly bugged the personal telephones of our client and her relations through its many operatives and has inundated her with numerous threatening calls and text messages.”

Patience Jonathan went further to accuse Federal Inland Revenue Service of terrorising her.  She alleged officials of the FIRS of barging into her hotel in Bayelsa State two months ago and damaging the property there in.

According to her, “On May 3, 2017, officials of the FIRS, in a convoy of about 20 trucks and over 70 personnel, raided our client’s NGO – Aridolf Jo Resort Wellness and Spa Limited – situated at Kpansia Expressway, Bayelsa State, and orchestrated a massive destruction of personal properties belonging to our client without any lawful court order or search warrant and caused mayhem there under the guise of trying to collect unpaid taxes without following any due process provided by law to do so.”

Asides freezing her bank accounts, the commission was accused of freezing accounts of her relatives and her NGOs, while also seizing property belonging to her NGO. She explained that the NGO was created to carry out charity works for the good of Nigeria.

 

EFCC’s Latest Trace To Patience Jonathan

The Former First Lady Patience Jonathan seems to be having regular cases with The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). is to mark the property as “being under investigation” and may place it under Interim Asset Forfeiture, The Nation learnt yesterday. This is as a result of another multi-billion naira property traced to the former First Lady,

According to a source, EFCC is to mark a multi-billion naira property traced to Patience Jonathan as “being under investigation” and may place it under Interim Asset Forfeiture.

The relationship between Mrs. Jonathan and two companies was being probed by detectives as at press time. Also, three accounts and three more properties have been put under surveillance by the anti-graft commission in connection with the ongoing investigation of the ex-First Lady.

The three accounts belong to Aribawa Aruera Research Foundation; Finchley Top Homes Limited and AM-PM Network Limited.

The accounts were uncovered in the course of investigating the ex-First Lady and Aribawa Aruera Research Foundation, The Nation learnt from sources close to the investigation.

EFCC investigators have however only established a link between Mrs. Jonathan and Aribawa Aruera Research Foundation.

The anti-graft commission is suspecting a business relationship between Mrs. Jonathan and Finchley Top Homes Limited and AM-PM Network Limited.

Preliminary investigation revealed that huge slush funds might have been laundered through the foundation and the two firms.

A report indicated that Aruera Foundation is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) with RC No 22805.

It said: “Huge funds were suspected to have been laundered into the accounts of the above mentioned companies and properties worth billions of naira were allegedly acquired by ex-First Lady Patience Jonathan through the aforementioned companies.

“Detectives were able to track transactions through open source information from interbank settlement

“The ex-First Lady and five others are trustees of Aribawa Foundation. Intelligence from Abuja Geographical Information Service (AGIS) revealed that a multi-billion naira property, Plot No. 1758B06 in Mabushi Area, belongs to the foundation.

“The said property is not such that a state Permanent Secretary in person of Mrs. Patience Jonathan can afford.

“The property should be marked as under investigation and interim forfeiture order be secured.”

The ex-First Lady is being probed in connection with three  other assets –  Plot 96(DO5) in Karsana ;  Plot 7109  (E18) in Wasa; and Plot 30 (DO3) in Idogwari.

Besides, EFCC detectives have turned their searchlight on the ex-First Lady’s relationship with Finchley Top Homes Limited and AM-PM Network Limited.

Another source added: “We have conducted searches at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on the two companies whose accounts were earlier frozen alongside that of the ex-First Lady over $5.8 million which was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.

“They were among the five companies and one Esther Oba said to be having a total sum of N7.4 billion in six banks.

“But their counsel Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) succeeded in unfreezing the account on April 6 at the Federal High Court presided over by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun.

“This is a new investigation. It is too early to return any verdict on the two companies because our detectives are looking into their books.”

 

‘Antidote To Corruption’- Dino Melaye’s Book Launch

Senator Dino Melaye has just written a book with the title ‘ Antidote To Corruption’  which was aimed at tackling corruption in Nigeria and finding possible solutions to the issue of corruption in Nigeria. The launching took place in Abuja and among those who was in attendance of the event was the Former First Lady Patience Jonathan as Special Guest and many other corrupt politicians of the state.

Senator Melaye gave a speech at the launching on who a corrupt person is:

Patience Jonathan, Bukola Saraki and others in attendance

see video below:

 

Court Refuses To Unfreeze Patience Jonathan’s $15m Account

The request of the former First Lady, Patience Jonathan seeking to unfreeze her accounts has been denied by A Federal High Court in Lagos. Justice Mohammed Idris ordered parties to file pleadings since issues had been joined as to the ownership of the money.

The judge held that all the defendants formulated different issues from those formulated by the plaintiff (EFCC) in the originating summons, saying it was unacceptable.
“The issues formulated by all the defendants are baseless. They amount to no issue and will be ignored by the court.

“I hold that this court lacks the competence to determine the issues raised by the defendants in their written addresses, having abandoned the specific issues formulated by the plaintiff in the originating summons.

“It is unfortunate. I say this because the issues raised by the defendants appear on the face of it, are good and deserving to be considered on their merit.
“But as I understand it to be the law, sentiment has no basis in the adjudicatory system.”
Justice Idris said where processes were not properly prepared, any defect would render the proceeding fatal as the court cannot “re-formulate” the issues for determination.
He held that there was a contention as to issues and facts in relation to the ownership of the money.

“In respect of this issue, the contention appears divided and there is clearly an air of friction in the proceedings.”
According to him, all the counter-affidavits filed by the defendants contain disputed facts that cannot be decided without oral evidence.

“In the light of the above affidavit evidence, it cannot in my view be rightly contended that there are no disputed facts or substance as to the ownership of the said funds and the law.
“The issues of fact raised by the defendants herein are not spurious or irrelevant. The affidavit of the plaintiff is also not conjectural.

“In my view, the facts are contentious and oral evidence needs to be led by the parties herein. “In the light of the above facts, this case is generally not suitable for an originating summons procedure.

“In the circumstances, the court hereby orders that the parties herein file pleadings in accordance with the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2009.
“Trial shall then proceed accordingly. This is the order of the court,” Justice Idris held.