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EFCC freezes Patience’s N5 million, digs deeper for more



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Since former First Lady Patience Jonathan has deposed to an affidavit that she owned the $15.6 million found in the account of four companies traced to Waripamowei Dudafa, who was ex-President Jonathan’s aide, the EFCC has frozen the $5 million found in Mrs Jonathan’s own account with Skye Bank.

This action, the EFCC said, was necessary because Patience, who claims she is a house wife, has not been forthcoming in substantiating her ownership of the monies, a source within the commission told the Punch.

Before now, the EFCC had 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.

Dudafa registered them using Jonathan’s domestic staff as directors.

While they all pleaded guilty, Patience, however, said the commission hired fakes to stand in as companies’ directors. But legal experts say the commission can use the plea  to ensure Patience forfeites the monies to the federal government.

On the discovering the no-debit order on the companies’ accounts,she initially took the EFCC and Skye Bank to court, slapping the latter with a N200 million suit for giving the investigators her details. She later petitioned the commission boss, Ibrahim Magu, explaining the money was meant to cover her overseas medical expenses.

ALSO SEE: EFCC under pressure to arrest Patience Jonathan

In a letter written by her lawyers, Granville Abibo (SAN) and Co, Patience said she has been operating the said accounts using the cards for her medical bill payments and purchases for her private purposes without any let or hindrance.

“Our client was therefore surprised when the said cards stopped functioning on July 7, 2016 or thereabout. Our client immediately thereupon contacted Skye Bank Plc through our solicitors. It was only then that the bank officials informed our client that the said accounts were placed on a ‘No Debit Order’ following investigations and instructions from your commission and this is without notice to our client by either the bank or the commission,”

Rather than calm the situation, the letter has prompted the EFCC to dig deeper into the financial transactions of Patience while she was first lady, leading to the discovery of the $5 million.

The commission said it had never intended to rake up anything about the wife of the former president—until she made the confession.