Thursday, September 22, 2016

$15m scandal: EFCC freezes Patience Jonathan’s personal account

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has taken a step further in its going investigations on some money traced to the accounts of former First Lady, Patience Jonathan.
The anti-graft agency has frozen her personal account in Skye Bank Plc, titled ‘Patience Ibifaka Jonathan, Punch is reporting.

The development came barely one month after the financial crimes watchdog uncovered four questionable companies’ accounts in Skye Bank with a balance of $15,591,700.
However, before the EFCC could arraign the four companies in court, Jonathan’s wife deposed to an affidavit, claiming that the money belonged to her and were for medical bills.


Despite Patience’s claims, the EFCC arraigned the four companies – Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited; and Globus Integrated Service Limited.

The companies pleaded guilty and the EFCC had already begun moves to ensure that the money is forfeited permanently to the Federal Government.

A detective at the EFCC was quoted as saying, “Recall that we had frozen the four companies’ accounts, which Patience Jonathan later laid claim to. We have been able to establish that the money was part of proceeds of crime.


“She had no evidence that the money in the four accounts belonged to her. All she had were platinum debit cards, which she was using to withdraw money and the cards are not evidence of ownership.

“Initially, we had traced $5m to her personal account, which we did not touch but I can confirm to you now that the $5m account, bearing Patience Jonathan’s name, has also been seized since she claimed that the monies in the company accounts and the one in her personal name all emanated from the same source.

“We are tracing other accounts belonging to Patience. It will interest you to know that despite all the letters she has written, she has never stated where she got the money from. She claimed to be a housewife and yet she has $20m.”

Patience had recently written a letter to the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, where she claimed that she needed the money for her medical treatment abroad.

She had also sued Skye Bank for N200m, accusing the bank of freezing her accounts unjustly.

In a letter written by her lawyers, Granville Abibo (SAN) and Co, Patience asked EFCC to defreeze the money without further delay or face legal action.

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