$20m in sky bank was for my medical bills-Patience Jonathan

Chidi Samuel

Mrs Patience Jonathan, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, said the $15m, found  in four companies’ accounts,  which she claims belongs to her in court papers was for the settlement of her medical bills. The same also applies for the additional $5m discovered by the EFFC.

She is  therefore asking the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Skye Bank to lift the restriction on the accounts through a letter written by her lawyers, Granville Abibo (SAN) and Co,  addressed to the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu.

 

Part of the letter read, “It is noteworthy to emphasise that the said accounts, which were in US dollar denomination, were card-based accounts and our client is the sole signatory to these accounts.

“However, our client 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 stop 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 instruction from your commission and this is without notice to our client by either the bank or the commission.

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“It is in the light of the foregoing that we urge you to use your good offices to vacate the ‘No Debit/Freezing Order’ placed on the said accounts.”

The former first lady who described herself as a law-abiding citizen asked  Magu, the EFCC chairman to intervene in the matter because all the explanations she offered to the Lagos Zonal Office of the EFCC, did not yield any positive result.

“We urge you sir, to kindly intervene to stop the untoward and wrongful actions of your officials to embarrass, inconvenience and short-change our client.”

A source at the  EFCC, however said, “We got a relevant court order to freeze those accounts and we have evidence which we will present in court on Friday.

“We did not know that the accounts belonged to Patience Jonathan at the time we froze them. The accounts do not bear her name neither do they carry her BVN (Bank Verification Number). So, how can she accuse us of harassment?

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The Federal Government has meanwhile denied claims that the former first lady was being persecuted. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Oro, Kwara State, on Tuesday. He submitted that it would be wrong for anybody to claim that the Federal Government was probing Jonathan or Patience.

He said, “If you look at the history of Mrs. Patience Jonathan’s issue, I think she was the one that came out to claim that the money found in the accounts of one of the aides to the former President, her husband, belonged to her.

“It was not the EFCC that claimed so. She claimed that the money that the guy was being prosecuted for belonged to her. It was only then they later found an extra $5m in another account.

“It is not as if anybody has gone out to probe Mrs. Jonathan directly or indirectly. Rather Mrs. Jonathan was the one that said ‘that money for which you are accusing Mr. X actually belongs to me. So, you cannot start talking of prosecution or persecution.”