Patience Jonathan used house boy, driver to open account

Chidi Samuel

Four domestic aides to the former first lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan has been arrested by The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. The aides including a driver and house boy were arrested because their names were used to open bank accounts for Mrs Dame Patience Jonathan. The companies’ accounts were opened at Skye Bank.

The companies are 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.

The four companies’ accounts, have a balance of about $15m while another account, which bears Patience Jonathan’s name, has $5m.

According to an affidavit by Mr. Sammie Somiari, on behalf of the ex-President’s wife, said the former First Lady was the owner of the money in the accounts.

The court documents revealed that the former first lady gave millions of dollars to the then Special Adviser to the President on Domestic Affairs, Waripamowei Dudafa, to open accounts for her.

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Mr Sammie Somiari, however, claimed that Dudafa opened five accounts for Patience and that only one of the accounts was in her name, while the other four were opened in the names of companies belonging to Dudafa.

A Source at the EFCC, however, revealed that Dudafa used his domestic servants’ names to open the four other accounts and then deposited the money into the accounts.

The Source added, “We were investigating Dudafa when we stumbled on those four companies’ domiciliary accounts opened at Skye Bank with a balance of about $15m. On further investigation, we were able to identify the directors of the companies.

“When we detained the directors, we found out that they were Dudafa’s domestic servants. One of them was a houseboy while another one was a driver. Their photographs were used in opening the accounts and their signatures were forged.

“We found out that these domestic servants were completely innocent because they had no access to the accounts. We have since released them. The sole signatory to the accounts was Patience Jonathan and she was issued with a special card, which is accepted worldwide. She has a separate account, which was opened in her name and has a balance of $5m.”

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The Source said a lawyer, Amajuoyi Briggs, who allegedly helped Dudafa to perpetrate the fraud, would also be arraigned.

Two Skye Bank executives, Demola Bolodeoku and Dipo Oshodi, who helped Dudafa to open the accounts on March 22, 2010, were also being investigated.

It will be recalled that the former first lady sued Skye Bank for freezing her bank accounts and giving the EFCC vital information about her finances.

She is also seeking damages in the sum of N200m from Skybank for what she termed a violation of her right to own personal properties under Section 44 of the 1999 Constitution.