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EFCC traces N2.1bn to ‘account owned by Patience Jonathan, late mother’

EFCC traces N2.1bn to ‘account owned by Patience Jonathan, late mother’
October 12
10:06 2017
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has traced N2.1 billion to a bank account allegedly owned by Patience Jonathan, former first lady, and Charity Oba, her late mother.

According to PUNCH, the alleged trace was documented in an interim report by the EFCC.

It said the former first lady owns Magel Resort Limited, a company incorporated by her late mother, which was used to launder the said N2.1 billion.

The interim report said the ex-first lady became the sole signatory of the company after her mother’s demise.

The report says although the company was registered as a resort agency, it got a N200 million contract from the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

Several individuals who are under investigation for money laundering allegedly made payments into the company’s account, it said.

“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,” it read.

“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.”

Ariwabai Aruera Reach Out Foundation, another NGO owned by the former first lady, is said to have received N2.4 billion between 2009 and 2015.

The report also said the former first lady has a dollar account with Diamond Bank which received deposits from her aides.

“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. In flows 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 the total amount of money traced to the former president’s wife is N17 billion.

Reacting, Belema Meshack-Hart, chief press secretary of the former first lady, was quoted as saying he would not exchange words with the EFCC since the matter is in court.

He advised Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the EFCC, to go and tell national assembly what he knows about the alleged money laundering.

“I won’t exchange words with them since the matter is in court. 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,” he said.

“However, it is not true that Dame Jonathan used her foundations to launder funds.  The foundations helped over 700 people with heart diseases.”

This report is coming days after the house of representatives committee on public petitions issued a warrant for Magu’s arrest.

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