Court Refuses To Freeze Patience Jonathan’s Bank Accounts

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday turned down an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission seeking to seize the funds in 15 bank accounts linked to former First Lady, Patience Jonathan.

The funds, which the anti-graft agency sought to confiscate, included a total of $8,435,788.84 and over N7.35bn.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun in his verdict trashed the ex parte application filed by the EFCC for the seizure of the funds, saying the funds were already subject of litigation before two other judges.

Recall that Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, then domestic aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, had told the court that the $15.5m siezed from the former First Lady was her legitimate money.

Dudafa, who appeared as Patience’s first witness had also claimed that the $15.5m seized from Patience by the EFCC was not proceeds of fraud but, “consisted of her personal inheritance and money which she held in trust for her siblings, as well as gifts from friends and well-wishers over the years.”

Dudafa said the multi-million dollars and other currencies belonging to Mrs Jonathan were cash gifts, inheritance and funds she holds in trust for others.

Did Patience Jonathan Do Money Ritual? By Tunde Odesola

 

Is Nigeria accursed? I can’t say no. But I’m sure Nigeria is sick. Nigeria is empty like a vase without flowers. Some retrogressive forces won’t just stop doing a number on her. She is not Midas. Midas was a man. Everything Nigeria touches rusts. When life-changing ideologies, products, concepts arrive in Nigeria, they die. It is curious, but this is the way we crookedly are. The interiors of our airplanes are like the sties of drunken pigs. Our highways are pathways to the grave. Our vehicles are coffins. Our telephony is bedlam. Our medicines kill. Our fuel fuels chaos. Our schools devalue. The few concepts and products that remain true to form include arms, ammunition, hard drugs, prostitution and ‘yahoo-yahoo’.

 

What’s yahoo? Long before it became popular in the US in 1994 when Jerry Yang and David Filo coined Yahoo from the phrase, “Yet Another Hierarchically Organised Oracle,” the word ‘yahoo’ had an etymological meaning traceable to the 18th Century when Jonathan Swift made it popular in his work, Gulliver’s Travels. In the novel, Swift refers to a yahoo as a brute in a human form. Aside from the backronym, “Yahoo,” which is the language of the internet, and yahoo’s etymological connotation of brutishness, the word has been bastardised in Nigeria. Yahoo, in the street parlance of the young, urbane Nigerian youths, has nothing to do with the limitless benefits and possibilities of the Internet. Like our Midas-to-rust penchant, the word, “yahoo”, has assumed the toga of an internet horror in Nigeria. Someone said ex-Nigerian footballer, Jay Jay Okocha, was so good that his parents named him twice. Could it thus be said that the sorrows inflicted on victims by young Nigerians who engage in internet fraud called ‘yahoo-yahoo’ are so grievous that the cyberfraud was named twice?

I became sick the other day I listened to an online audio war between some ‘yahoo-yahoo’ boys and their female sidekicks popularly referred to as Olosho! This recent coinage, olosho, has no root in pristine Yoruba language and culture. Olosho is another name for a young, aggressive, urbane prostitute. In the online exchange that is now viral, the voice of a young lady comes up, lamenting the rate at which ‘yahoo-yahoo’ boys were killing oloshos for money-making rituals. The lady advised fellow oloshos to ‘wise up’ and be ready to ensnarl, fleece and kill ‘yahoo-yahoo’ boys, too. Later, the voices of some ‘yahoo-yahoo’ boys came up, cursing and lambasting oloshos, in general. The ‘yahoo-yahoo’ boys vehemently reaffirmed their vow to kill more oloshos for money rituals, stressing that oloshos ‘come for the money o’ and would do anything to sleep with as many as possible ‘yahoo-yahoo’ boys. Without a speck of compunction, the boys wantonly bragged about killing people and using their heads for money rituals, relishing the prospects of getting more heads to use for money rituals. This is the bread of sorrow being eaten by our youths today.

But, is money ritualism real? I don’t think so. I’m not saying that African juju is not efficacious. I’m only saying that it has its limitations, and its limitation includes money ritualism. The noise about the efficacy of money ritualism is balderdash. Our forefathers once claimed that the gods told them to kill newborn twins and albinos. While this inhuman act persisted, sacrifices were made to the gods, and people rejoiced after each sacrifice was ‘accepted’ by the gods. But when the gods saw the firepower from the arsenal (not Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal o) of the White man, they repented and became born again. If an aborigine had told the elders of the time that it was inhuman to kill twins and albinos, his head would have been severed in Imogun, the Yoruba’s Place of Skulls. People’s beliefs aren’t always in tandem with the will of God. Most often when people commit sin, they do so with style and zeal. If African juju doesn’t have its limitations, why did all African gods fail when the White man came enslaving? Or, didn’t the people call to the gods?

I have no respect for Nigerians politicians. I take their words with a pinch of salt. But I agree with the position of the representative, Osun-Central senatorial district in the Senate, Prof Olusola Adeyeye, who, taunting money ritualism, volunteered to put his neck on the chopping block for money ritual – with the proviso that the money his chopped head produces should be given to the Osun State Government. I make bold to say that ‘Yahoo-yahoo’ boys are just chopping off victims’ heads in vain, there’s nothing like money ritual, but they won’t know until the heads are off. With the rate heads are being severed across the country, there should’ve been a new set of nouveau riche. Generally, all we have among ‘yahoo-yahoo’ boys are ‘two-million-naira-rich’ rogues, who exploited the gullibility of victims on the Internet.

What’s the value of labour in Nigeria? How much does the most powerful man in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari, earn? Deriving its powers from Section 32(d), Part 1 of the Third Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission fixed the basic monthly salary of the Nigerian president at N292,892.08 while that of the vice-president is N252,063.04. In all, the President’s basic salary and allowances is N1,171,568.33 per month and that of the vice-president is N1,010,524.17 per month. Annually, the total take home of the President is N14,058,820.00 and the vice-president’s is N12,126,290.00.

Then, how come the wife of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan possesses funds that surpass the salaries of all Nigerian heads of state since independence? A few days ago, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, who had huffed all these years about the innocence of her wealth, offered to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission an out-of-court “amicable resolution of all cases” the agency has against her. According to the EFCC investigation, Mama Peace, as she’s fondly called, spent in a day shopping spree in China, $36,458.40. Probably, Jonathan could have an idea of the financial worth of Patience, but the EFCC insists the wealth of the University of Port Harcourt graduate is fraudulent. The EFCC has traced the sums of $11.8m, $6.7m and $31.5m to the former Bayelsa civil servant. These monies exclude her enormous real estate interests. In faraway Honduras, Rosa Bonilla, wife of ex-President Porfirio Lobo was not as lucky; she was detained on charges of embezzling merely $500,000 in government funds.

Interestingly, Mrs. Jonathan had explained that the monies were got from gifts donated by friends and well-wishers in 15 years, adding that she couldn’t even remember a number of the generous donors, some of whom gave gifts as small as N250,000. The EFCC has linked some accounts to Mama Peace through a former presidential aide, Dudafa Owei.

Could the contents of these bank accounts be the reason why Patience wailed at the 2015 Peoples Democratic Party presidential rally in Lagos, “Lagosians, they send you to jail, they send your fathers to jail, they’ve come back again; they’ll send you back to jail. Me, as a woman, I reject to carry food to my husband in jail, I reject it! Lagos women, are you ready to carry food to jail? Will they change? Why are they looking for your votes today?…(Singing) If you vote APC, na your prison, if you vote Buhari, na your prison. If you vote PDP, e go better!?” Having vehemently pleaded innocent to the EFCC’s corruption charges, where could Patience’s wealth have come from? Yahoo-yahoo ritual? State treasury? Well, I believe her story; I believe that some whimpering donors donated the monies in appreciation of the lullabies her velvety voice sang to them. She should be left to enjoy her gifts; Buhari has lost the prison keys to snakes.

 

Chai, diaris God o!

Patience Jonathan Requests For Arrest Of Bank CEOs

Following her never ending trouble with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the former First Lady, Patience Jonathan, has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to arrest the Chief Executive Officers of three major banks – First Bank, Skye Bank and Diamond Bank – to prison for their persistent refusal to obey the court order that lifted the embargo placed on accounts linked to her.

According to reports, forms 48 and 49 which are legal process of initiating the imprisonment for flouting court order have been served on Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Bank; Tokunbo Abiru, CEO Skye Bank, and Uzoma Dozie, MD/CEO, Diamond Bank.

In a motion on notice brought pursuant to order 3 rule 1 of the Federal High Court, Jonathan, through her counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), is praying the court to commit the three bank chiefs to prison for deliberately refusing to comply with court order that embargo placed on the 16 bank accounts be lifted since December last year.

The ex-first lady is also seeking an order of the court striking out a purported ‘ex parte originating summon’ filed by the EFCC, praying for forfeiture of all funds in the various bank accounts in the three banks to the federal government.

In a 20 paragraph affidavit in support of the motion, it was averred that the EFCC had on May 30, 2017, obtained an exparte order granted by Justice Binta Nyako, freezing all bank accounts traced to Mrs. Jonathan, her families and business interest.

The order made in respect of FHC/ABJ/CS/821/2016 was however to last for 90 days when the anti-graft agency was expected to have completed all investigations in respect of the bank accounts.

The affidavit deposed to by one Chinedu Maduba, a legal practitioner in the law firm of G.I. Abibo (SAN) indicated that the order placed on the bank accounts through the EFCC exparte motion was vacated in December 5, 2017, when the 90 day life span of the exparte order expired and vacated by the same Justice Nyako.

The affidavit indicated that the embargo order on the bank accounts was not renewed or extended by the court in favour of EFCC.

Mrs. Jonathan and other applicants in the motion on notice claimed that all efforts to make transaction in the three banks in compliance with the December 5, 2017, order of the court de-freezing the accounts were resisted by the chief executive officers of the three banks.

The affidavit further indicated that upon enquiry on why transactions were not allowed in the bank accounts in compliance with court order, Mrs. Jonathan and other applicants were said to have been told that EFCC had filed exparte originating summon praying for the forfeiture of all monies in the accounts.

Meanwhile, Justice Nyako has fixed April 11 to enable EFCC respond to issues raised in the motion as well as appear in court.

Apart from Mrs. Jonathan, other applicants seeking to jail the three bank CEOs are Incorporated Trustees of Ariwabai Aruera Reachout Foundation, Pagmat Oil and Gas Limited, Finchley Top Homes Limited, AM PM Global Network Limited, Magel Resort Limited and Incorporated Trustees of Women for Change and Development Initiative Nigeria.

Others are Transocean Property and Investment Limited, Seagate Property Development Investment Company, Globus Integrated Services and Pluto Property and Investment Company.

 

How 31 Suspects Put $11.4m In Jonathan’s Wife Account, $41,438 Blown In One-Day Shopping And Other Newspaper Headlines Today

Former First Lady of Nigeria Patience Jonathan blew thousands of dollars at highbrow stores. The cash came from $11,849,069.03, which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said 31 individuals and companies paid into her two domiciliary accounts. The accounts, which are Skye Bank (2110001712) and First Bank (2022648664) had “questionable deposits” between 2013 and 2017. The Skye Bank account had about $7,452,319.32 lodged in it. Detectives found $4,036,750.00 in the second account with First Bank. The ex-First Lady allegedly spent the cash at TFS stores, Selfridges,  John Lewis, Kingsgate,  Sainsbury’s, Harrods, Marks and Spencer, Dolce and Gabbana, and Gina. According to THE NATION, she went on a shopping  spree in expensive outlets in the United States, Britain, Germany, Hong Kong, UAE, Italy and China. The highest shopping was  at Goyard Beijing  in Beijing CN on January 28, 2014 where Mrs. Jonathan shelled out $28,388.72.

Moving to security, ‘Governors, Senators Back Osinbajo’s Call For State Police’ heads THE PUNCH. This was at the closing of the two-day summit on national security organised by the Senate, state governors and the federal parliament have agreed to allow states to have their police. They backed Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo who stated at the opening of the event on Thursday that state police was “the way to go.”

Still on state police, Govs Back State Police is written boldly on NIGERIAN TRIBUNE. Governors of the 36 states of the country have risen in support of state police as an option to tackle the spate of insecurity in the country. Zamfara state governor Alhaji Abdul’aziz Yari who spoke o behalf of the governors said the forum had agreed to back the issue of state police.

According To DAILY INDEPENDENT, Constitution Amendment: NASS To Revisit State Police takes the headline. Indications have emerged that the National Assembly may revisit some proposals rejected during the last voting on constitution amendment exercise with the establishment of state police as one of the major issues to be reconsidered. Signals towards this emerged on Monday after the conclusion of the security summit organised by the Senate to garner opinion of stakeholders on how best to tackle the resurging security threat across the country.

THE GUARDIAN reveals; Knocks For FG, Police As Benue Leaders, Panel Meet On Killings. According to the news Benue leaders yesterday expressed their disapproval of the Federal Government’s handling of killings by herdsmen in the state. The forum was a meeting between stakeholders in the state and the committee set up by the National Executive Council (NEC) to look into the matter. According to one of the speakers, President Muhammadu Buhari has demonstrated it is safer to be a cow in Nigeria than a human. Regretting that some persons in the corridors of power were benefitting from the crisis, Pastor Dave Ogbole told the forum: “He (Buhari) supported the law that prevents cattle rustling. But he is against the law that prevents killings and destruction of crops.

Still on security Buhari is quoted on the VANGUARD this morning saying; Our Security Solutions’ll Stand Test Of Time. PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said that his government has the grasp of the security challenges in the country and was determined to implement solutions that would stand the test of time. President Buhari and heads of security agencies held the routine weekly security meeting where heads of the security agencies brief him on the security situation in the country.

Herdsmen Overrun Varsity as Vice Chancellor of Plateau State University in Bokkos, Prof. Docknan Decent Sheni, has raised the alarmed over deathly grazing of cattle by Fulani herdsmen in the University premises. According to DAILY SUN, Prof. Sheni stated this yesterday during a press briefing at the University in Bokkos explaining that despite the arrest of Fulani herdsmen who carry out aggressive grazing in the university premises, the menace had continued unabated. “There are security challenges in the university because the institution has not been completely fenced, we have seen several strange persons within the university who constitute threat to lives and properties. “Our greatest challenge is the aggressive grazing carried out by herdsmen within the premises of the University. Lectures will be going on and cattle will be roaming around, up to the administrative block and this is not pleasant to the system.”

NEW TELEGRAM reads Herdsmen Poison UNILORIN Dam, Destroy Research Farms. Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, has accused herdsmen of poisoning the university’s dam with chemicals. He also said the herdsmen were destroying the multi-million naira research and training farms by making their cattle to illegally graze on the campus. The university therefore gave the herdsmen notice to quit its campus.

Abdulkareem handed down the notice at a special security meeting held at the institution last Thursday with leaders of the 11 Fulani settlements on the university land. But Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Usman Adamu, told the university management that the herdsmen destroying the institution’s farm land were not living in the community. According to him, there are other ethnic groups embarking on illegal activities like logging and are not differentiated from the Fulani. At the meeting, Abdulkareem told the Fulani settlers that “enough is enough”, stressing that the university could no longer condone the destructive activities of their grazing cattle on its land, “as this is becoming too costly for the institution to bear”.

BUSINESS DAY closes the curtains for newspaper headlines today revealing; Expectations High As Banks Set To Release 2017 Full-Year Results. Full-year financial results of Nigeria’s top banks are expected as early as next week to break the bearish sentiments that have taken over the market. A bullish run in 2017 had seen the market rising 42 percent to emerge the third best performing stock market in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patience Jonathan Pleads To Settle Outside Court With EFCC After New Evidence Emerges

The Former First Lady Patience Jonathan has finally swallowed her pride and begged to settle out of court with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission after new evidence has emerged revealing how she spent as much as $41,438 in a day on shopping.

The Commission also revealed $11,849,069.03 which 31 individuals and companies paid into her two domiciliary accounts. The accounts, which  are Skye Bank (2110001712) and First Bank (2022648664) had “questionable deposits” between 2013 and 2017.

The Skye Bank account had about $7,452,319.32 lodged in it. Detectives found $4,036,750.00 in the second account with First Bank.

The ex-First Lady allegedly spent the cash at TFS stores, Selfridges,  John Lewis, Kingsgate,  Sainsbury’s, Harrods, Marks and Spencer, Dolce and Gabbana, and Gina.

She went on a shopping spree in expensive outlets in the United States, Britain, Germany, Hong Kong, UAE, Italy and China.

The highest shopping was  at Goyard Beijing  in Beijing CN on January 28, 2014 where Mrs. Jonathan shelled out $28,388.72.

On the same day at Hulian Xinguang Beijing CN, she blew $13, 069.68 on some luxury items.

There were transactions traced to Oakham School,  Natwest Bank and $26, 228. 18 spent at Hotel Nassaeur HOF Wishbaden DE on November 20, 2015.

Perhaps overwhelmed by the EFCC probe and its likely consequences, the ex-First Lady has applied for an out-of-court settlement with the EFCC.

In “a major breakthrough by EFCC with international collaboration” detectives found that about $7,452,319.32 suspicious funds were deposited in the ex-First Lady’s account with number 2110001712 between 8th February 2013 and 7th April 2015.

The account was opened on  September 12, 2013  by a former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan Hon. Dudafa Waripamo Owei depositing  $1,948,400.00.

About 23 other individuals, including  the ex-First Lady allegedly deposited cash into  the account as follows: Festus Iyoha ($287,100.000); Ocheche Emmanuel ($150,000);  Philemon Buoro ($150,000);  Festus Isidahomen ($100,000);  Felicia Apatake ($148,900); Patricia Okogun ($ 99,700); Buoro Ojo  ($400,000); Stella Wasiu  ($250,000);  Amaka Adebayo  ($250,000);  Segun Moses  ($249,400); Jimoh Peter ($246,700);  Ahmed Musa ($196,400); Ibrahim Musa($198,300); Dame P. Jonathan ($100,000);  Ayemere Sunday ($ 250,000);  Eneji A.P ($300,000); Johnson Ojo ($300,000);  Mary Buoro ($400,000); Jude  Bosede ($500,000); Festus Iyoha ($400,000);  Jimoh Moses ($400,000) and  Ahmed Musa ($100,000).

“The balance in this account as at 9th September 2016 was about $5,831,173.55,” the EFCC said.

The second account was opened on February 22, 2013 at First Bank.

Cash deposits were made into the account between 26th February 2013 and 30th April, 2017 which altogether was $4,036,750.

Apart from the ex-First Lady who deposited $2,037,650 in nine tranches, other lodgments ranged  from $98,900 to $400,000.

The former SA Domestic, Dudafa Waripamo Owei, led the pack of depositors on 27th February 2013 with a deposit of $400,000. Other depositors are: Germaine ($100,000); Dudafa ($400,000); Germani ($200,000); Ade Suleiman ($200,000); Mohammed Adamu ($300,000); Francis Muhd ($300,000); Kunle Peter ($200,000); Suleiman Ade ($299,900,00) and Jonathan Patience ($2,037,650).

“Detectives traced the transactions pattern placed the card holder in various countries to United States, Great Britain, Germany, Hong Kong, UAE and Italy.

The card was allegedly used in highbrow shops, such as Marks and Spencer,  Kingsgate, Natwest Bank, Gina stores and Harrods.

“ The balance in this account as at 9th September 2016 was $3,691,145.48.”

A source in EFCC said: “We have gone far in our investigation of the ex-First Lady to prove that it is not  a case of witch-hunt in any manner whatsoever. We are already trying to verify the names of the depositors if they really existed or they are fake.

“ Since we have uncovered all these suspicious deposits, we only need her to account in court on how she came about them. Our crack teams worked day and night to trace these funds.

“With international collaboration, there is no hiding place for Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) because some of these malls sometimes  report suspicious transactions or spending. They marvelled at where top Nigerian political office holders and their spouses got the cash being lavished.”

The former First Lady, however,  seems to be tired of litigation over her fortune. In a January 30, 2018 letter, titled “Proposal for out-of-Court Settlement of all cases related to Dame (Mrs.) Ibifaka Patience Jonathan,” she told the EFCC of her intention to settle the matter.

The letter, which was written by her counsel, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), is being considered by the EFCC.

The letter said: “As senior counsel,  representing Dame (Mrs.) Patience Jonathan (former First Lady) and companies linked to her and some family members, associates,  companies and NGOs, we have thought it fit to engage your commission in a discussion over all issues involving her and the commission with a view to having amicable resolution of all cases as stated above.

“This will enable both sides create an atmosphere for mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence. We will therefore appreciate it, if you can give us an appointment at your earliest convenience to have a discussion over all matters involving her and members of her family.

“We believe that an amicable settlement will be in the best interest of both your commission and our client.

“We assure you of our utmost commitment and sincerity of purpose in this connection,  and we solicit your cooperation in this regard. Please, accept the assurances of our warm regards.”

Another EFCC source said: “We have received a letter from the ex-First Lady, we are studying it on whether or not to accept the out-of-court settlement or allow justice to take its course.”

Apart from the cash, the ex-First Lady is linked to 12 choice properties and a plot of land on which a building is being built.

The investigative team had recommended that Section 7 of the EFCC Establishment Act 2004 be invoked on the properties after due verification.

The assets linked to Mrs. Jonathan in Port Harcourt  are:  Former Customs Service officers mess; two duplexes at 2/3 Bauchi Street; landed property with blocks at Ambowei Street; 3 Luxury apartments of 4-bedroom each at Ambowei Street;  and Grand View Hotel along airport road.

In Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, are two marble duplexes at Otioko GRA by Isaac Boro Expressway;  Glass House along Sani Abacha Expressway which is housing Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring  Board; Akemfa Etie Plaza by AP filling Station, Melford Okilo  Road; and Aridolf  Resort, Wellness and Spa on Sani Abacha Expressway.

THE DEPOSITORS

  • Festus Iyoha
  • Ocheche Emmanuel
  • Philemon Buoro
  • Festus Isidahomen
  • Felicia Apatake
  • Patricia Okogun
  • Buoro Ojo
  • Stella Wasiu
  • Amaka Adebayo
  • Segun Moses
  • Jimoh Peter
  • Ahmed Musa
  • Ibrahim Musa
  • Dame P. Jonathan
  • Ayemere Sunday
  • Eneji A.P
  • Johnson Ojo
  • Mary Buoro
  • Jude  Bosede
  • Festus Iyoha
  • Jimoh Moses
  • Ahmed Musa
  • Germaine
  • Dudafa
  • Germani
  • Ade Suleiman
  • Mohammed Adamu
  • Francis Muhd
  • Kunle Peter
  • Suleiman Ade
  • Jonathan Patience

 

 

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.