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EFCC says N2.1 billion found in bank account belonging to Patience Jonathan’s late mother
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it traced N2.114 billion to a bank account belonging to a company owned by Charity Oba, the late mother of Patience Jonathan, wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The commission said Patience became the sole signatory to the company’s account following the passing on of her mother. It also said that the total amount that has been traced to Patience is now N17 billion, which was siphoned using several of her NGOs.
According to documents seen by journalists, the company, Magel Resort Limited, was incorporated by Patience’s mother as a resort agency, but was later used to secure an IT contract from the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
“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,” read a report by the EFCC which was made available to The Punch.
“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 EFCC also alleged that several government agencies made payments into an account belonging to Ariwabai Aruera Reachout Foundation, another NGO owned by Patience.
A total inflow of N2.4 billion was allegedly paid into the account between 2009 and 2015.
“Investigations equally discovered that Mrs. Jonathan maintains a dollar account with Diamond Bank which received huge financial inflow from her domestic aides,” the report read.
“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.”
“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.
“The bulk of the money was deposited by Bureau de Change operators.”
The EFCC said it has invited the Bureau de Change operators for questioning.
The report also noted that most of the companies that were linked to Patience Jonathan had false addresses and mails sent to their emails could not deliver.
When contacted, Belema Meshack-Hart, Patience Jonathan’s media aide, said that the allegations were false.
He asked Ibrahim Magu, EFCC Acting Chairman, to go and clarify himself before the House of Representatives’ committee which invited him over the matter.
“I won’t exchange words with them (the EFCC) since the matter is in court,” Meshack-Hart said.
“The House has invited the EFCC chairman many times but he has refused to honour the invitations. Let him go and tell the National Assembly what he knows.
“However, it is not true that Dame Jonathan used her foundations to launder funds. The foundations helped over 700 people with heart diseases.”