EFCC Traces Additional $5M to Patience Jonathan
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has traced fresh $5m to the Skye Bank account of Dame Patience Jonathan, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, bringing the total amount linked with her over the past week to $20m.
This comes as part of investigations into a money laundering case against a former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Jonathan, Waripamowei Dudafa, whom the anti-graft agency has charged to court after being linked with the initial $15m, Punch reports.
According to a source at the EFCC: “While we were investigating Dudafa, we traced the four companies to him. The companies have domiciliary accounts at Skye Bank with a balance of about $15m. So, we obtained a court order and froze the accounts.
“We then traced the directors of the companies who then denied ownership of the accounts. It was later that we were informed that the accounts belonged to Patience Jonathan and that she is the sole signatory to the accounts. She was given a special card which she used in making withdrawals across the world.
“We, therefore, wondered why the accounts were not opened in her name if she had nothing to hide. In fact, we later found out that her personal account, which bears her name, has a balance of $5m. One wonders where a person, who has never held a government position, got the money from. She was not our initial target but she certainly has questions to answer.”
Dame patience has since filed a N200m fundamental rights enforcement suit against Skye Bank for freezing her bank accounts and giving the EFCC vital information about her finances.
However, the EFCC is set to arraign Dudafa and his alleged accomplices for money laundering before a Federal High Court in Lagos, with further proceedings adjourned until September 15.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), has stated that the EFCC has the right to probe Dame Patience following her admission that she owns the accounts.
“The EFCC and ICPC Act have provisions under which they can ask the court to freeze the account of a person if a person’s capacity to earn is below the amount of money that the person appears to have,” he said.
“If you are living a lavish lifestyle and it appears you don’t have the means to have acquired the property and the wealth you have, the EFCC is free to probe you.
“If she is claiming the money belongs to her, she has put herself in a position where she must explain how she earned it.”
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