$15m Scandal: EFCC set to invite Patience Jonathan for grilling

EFCCBarring any last minute change of strategy, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is scheduled to invite Dame Patience, wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, for formal questioning over the controversial $15.6m traced to four accounts linked to her.

The invitation, it was learnt, was necessary for Patience to clear the air on certain grey areas relating to the opening and running of the accounts.

The outcome of the investigation, it was learnt, would determine if Patience would be allowed unlimited access to her accounts with apology tendered to her as requested or be charged to court for trial.

Already detectives of EFCC had visited the Skye Bank branch on Adeola Hopewell, Victoria Island, where the accounts were opened and obtained relevant documents containing her financial information.

Punch quoted sources as saying that the detectives had been able to establish a prima facie case of money laundering and forgery against Patience.

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It will be recalled that as part of investigations into a former Special Adviser to the President on Domestic Affairs, Waripamowei Dudafa, the EFCC had traced four company accounts to him all domiciled at Skye Bank.

The bank accounts of 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 — were said to have been opened with stolen identities.

A detective at the EFCC said, “After three months of investigation, I can confirm to you that we are set to invite Patience Jonathan. We obtained the files from the bank and we realised that those accounts with the $15m were opened with fake identity cards, including driving licences.

“We took the cards and went to the Federal Road Safety Corps to verify if the cards were authentic. We found out that the cards were fake. So, this is not just money laundering but a clear case of fraud. If they had nothing to hide, why did they go to this length?”

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While the companies had pleaded guilty, Patience insisted that the money in the accounts belonged to her even as she claimed she did not know the companies.

In an affidavit, one Sammie Somiari deposed to on behalf of Patience, Mrs. Jonathan claimed that Dudafa helped Patience to open the bank accounts in 2010.

However, EFCC investigations revealed that the accounts were opened between 2013 and 2014