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Thursday, 12 October 2017

EFCC allegedly traces N2.1bn to Patience’s dead mother’s account; how she used NGO for fraud

Patience Jonathan
Patience  Jonathan
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has traced N2.114 billion to the bank account of Magel Resort Limited allegedly owned by Mama Charity Oba and her daughter, Patience Jonathan.

The Punch reports that an interim report of the EFCC accused the former first lady of perpetuating fraud through her non-governmental organisations.

According to the EFCC, the total amount of money traced to Mrs. Jonathan is now N17 billion although she has filed a N2 billion fundamental human rights suit against the EFCC accusing it of subjecting her to psychological trauma and unnecessary persecution.

According to the report: “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.

“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 an NGO, Ariwabai Aruera Reach Out Foundation, owned by Patience had several account but one particular one received several payments from several government agencies.

A total inflow of N2.4 billion was allegedly recorded in the account between 2009 and 2015 with some of her domestic servants used as directors.

“Investigations equally discovered that Mrs. Jonathan maintains a dollar account with Diamond Bank which received huge financial inflow from her domestic 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. 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 report stated.

The BDC operators have also been invited for questioning.

Belema Meshack-Hart who is the chief press secretary to Patience denied that she was perpetuating fraud with her NGO and accused the EFCC of engaging in media trial.

“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.

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

Meanwhile, the acting chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, was summoned by the Senate over the freezing of seven bank accounts of Patience Jonathan.

The summons was in respect to a petition Patience Jonathan wrote to the lawmakers through her lawyer, Charles Ogboli, alleging that the EFCC and the NDLEA had at differed times subjected her to dehumanizing treatment.

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