Ex-First Lady Patience Jonathan’s N9.2bn, $8.4m Seized

Ex-First Lady, Patience Jonathan has lost the sum of N9.2bn and $8.4m linked to her following an order of forfeiture a federal court issued on Tuesday. Aside Jonathan, five firms were also listed as respondents. They are Globus Integrated Services Limited, Finchley Top Homes Limited, Am-Pm Global Network Limited, Pagmat Oil and Gas Limited and Magel Resort Limited.

The trial judge, Mojisola Olatoregun, had in her April 14 ruling on the matter issued a 14-day ultimatum for the owners of the money to show why the order sought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, should not be granted. However, none of the respondents were able to meet the court’s demands.

During the Tuesday hearing, Huleji Tukura, an EFCC investigator, in an affidavit sworn to, said monies emanated from the coffers of Bayelsa State.

Patience Jonathan as the first lady had been appointed permanent secretary in Bayelsa state, where the husband Goodluck Jonathan hail from.

Tukura said a former Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, aided the movement of the monies to different bank accounts. He further said that Waripamo-Owei got one Festus Isidohomen Iyoha and Arivi Eneji Peter, who were domestic staff attached to the State House, Abuja, to deposit the funds. He said the intention was to conceal the identity of the real owner of the monies.

“The total sum of $4,036,750.00 (Four million, thirty-six thousand, seven hundred and fifty United States’ dollar) reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities, were deposited into account No. 2022648664 domiciled in First Bank Plc in the name of the 1st respondent.

“On the 28th day of September 2016, the 1st respondent (Patience Jonathan), in dissipating the property sought to be forfeited, transferred the sum of $3,640,794.72 to the 1st respondent’s account No. 2031277178 domiciled in First Bank Plc.

“On the 5th day of October 2016, the 1st respondent withdrew the sum of $1,000,000.00 cash from the said account leaving the balance of the sum of $3,645,013.73 which sum we are urging this honourable court to forfeit in the interim to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

”As at the time the various sums were deposited in into exhibit EFCC01, the 1st respondent was a serving permanent secretary in the employment of the Bayelsa State Government.

He said the companies used in the transactions were not “profit-yielding companies”, but rather  created to warehouse the monies.

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