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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has alleged that former First Lady Patience Jonathan used her late mother’s company to launder about N2.114bn.

Besides, Magel Resort Limited, which was incorporated by Mrs. Jonathan’s late mother, allegedly secured over N200 million IT contract from the National Information Technology Development Agency.

Many people, including an hotelier in Abuja, also remitted funds into the account.

Also uncovered was how some domestic aides of the former First Lady remitted about N5.7 billion into the accounts of three firms linked to Mrs. Jonathan.

As part of the investigation, some Federal Government agencies were found to have remitted funds into the account of Ariwobai Aruera Reach Out Foundation, her NGO, which has N2,475,784,487.77.

Detectives put the cash in the two domiciliary accounts of the ex-First Lady at $20,731,173.

According to sources in EFCC, the major highlights of the latest investigation of Mrs. Jonathan border on the use of her mum’s firm and domestic aides to launder funds.

The sources claimed that the ex-First Lady has a case to answer because of the “curious payments” made into more than five accounts linked to her.

A source, who pleaded not to be named so as not to jeopardise the investigation, said: “This is not a case of witch-hunt or vendetta. We have retrieved records of transactions and those concerned. There is a strong case of abuse of office.

“Nigerians should prevail on Mrs. Jonathan to seek equity with clean hands by subjecting herself to legal process. How did domestic aides come about billions? Why will a resort company secure an IT contract? How did a furniture firm without a fixed address come about N1.140billion?

“As we investigate the ex-First Lady, our detectives dig out more evidence of alleged money laundering by her between 2009 and 2015.”

The source gave an insight into the latest findings by detectives on Mrs. Patience Jonathan.

The source added: “A company owned by Mrs. Jonathan is Magel Resort Limited. It was incorporated by Mrs. Jonathan’s late mother. But Patience Jonathan became the sole signatory to the account of the company by board resolution upon the demise of her mother.

“The EFCC is probing the circumstance in which the firm though registered as a resort agency secured over N200 million IT contract from the National Information Technology Development Agency.

“The contract was allegedly funded through the National Information Technology Development Fund.”

Several other persons under investigation for money laundering by the anti-graft agency were discovered to have made payments into the company’s account.

Some of them, including a hotelier in central area, Abuja, have been invited for questioning.

A source added: “The total sum allegedly laundered through the account of Magel Resorts Limited run by Mrs. Jonathan and her late mother is N2.114 billion.

“Also allegedly laundered by the former First Lady through the account of Lawari Furniture and Baths Ltd is N1.140 billion. The company’s address is given as 100 Akamfa Road, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. The bulk of the money was deposited by Bureau de Change operators.

“The BDC operators have already been invited by the EFCC for questioning.”

EFCC sources said that the addresses of most of the companies were discovered to be fictitious as mails sent to them were returned undelivered.

Ariwobai Aruera Reach Out Foundation, an NGO, was discovered to have various accounts but the principal account is domiciled in Diamond Bank.

The source said: “The commission stumbled on evidence in which several government agencies made payments into the account. A total inflow of N2, 475,784,487.77 was recorded in the account between 2009 and 2015.”

The source also spoke about the deposits in the domiciliary accounts of the ex-First Lady.

The source said: “Investigation equally discovered that Mrs. Jonathan maintains a dollar account with Diamond Bank which received huge financial inflow from her domestic aides.

“Some of the domestic aides that made payments into the accounts are also trustees of her so- called NGO and director in her companies. The balance in the account was $12,831,173.

“Another dollar account of the former First Lady was discovered in Skye Bank.

Inflows into the account came through deposits by domestic aides of Mrs. Jonathan.

“Intelligence reports indicate that most of the purchase of luxury items by the former First Lady was through the Platinum Card of the account. The total amount in the account is $7.9 million.

“Also under investigation is how N1.8 billion was deposited in the account of Flinchley Top Homes Limited, a company linked to Mrs. Jonathan, by her domestic aides between 2009 and 2015.

“Other discoveries are the N2.1 billion and N1.8 billion deposited into the accounts of AM PM Global Network Limited and Pagmat Oil and Gas Limited between 2009 and 2015. Both companies are linked to the former First Lady.”

 

The Nation.

BIG STORY

Pay Me Before You Leave Office!!! Lawyer Demands N600 million Unpaid Legal Fee From Fayose

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A lawyer based in Ado-Ekiti, capital of Ekiti state, Owoseni Ajayi, has written to the state governor Ayodele Fayose to pay him outstanding legal fee amounting to N600 million.

Ajayi, who was Fayose’s lawyer before he was appointed attorney general and commissioner for justice, listed 13 high-profile cases he handled for the governor which have not been paid for.

In a letter to Fayose on Wednesday, he said he demanded N600 million at the rate of N50 million for each of the case listed subject to accruable interest.

He said the cases were not paid for by Fayose because he was financially handicapped at the time but now buoyant enough to make payment.

“You will recall that you never paid our chamber, Owoseni Ajayi & Associates for the services rendered throughout the time because of your financial incapacitation despite numerous demands because you were already out of office at the material time,” Ajayi said.

“It should be stressed that we never acted free because we are legal practitioners working for our legal fee nor offered you ‘pro bono’ service because you were not a pauper to be qualified for such a service,”

“We merely showed understanding up till now because of the prevalent circumstances verily known to you. And now that you have served another term as Governor of Ekiti State, you are financially strong enough to pay the said sum as demanded.”

“Sir, you will agree with us that a labourer deserves his wages. We thank you for your patronage and we also deserve commendation for having discharged our professional responsibility with diligence and without compromise.

“And, also for saving Your Excellency from several legal embarrassments.”

The cases include a defamation case: Ayo Fayose v Independent Communications Network Limited with suit number HAD/8/2004 and the appeal case emanating from the same suit marked CA/AE/58/2010; Federal Republic of Nigeria v Ayo Fayose with charge number FHC/C/179C/2006 which was a criminal case heard both in Lagos and Ado-Ekiti federal high courts until Fayose was discharged and acquitted in October 2014 and Peter Ayodele Fayose v Comptroller General of Prisons Suit Number: FHC/AK/CS/08/2008, which was about Fayose’s ‘controversial’ release from Ikoyi Prisons to face a murder charge in Ekiti.

Other cases listed include Peter Ayodele Fayose v EFCC appeal marked CA/I/144/2011, Peter Ayodele Fayose v the State marked HAD/16/2007 to stop his arraignment for murder by the Segun Oni administration, the appeal case that arose from it marked CA/14C14/2007 and the Supreme Court that emanated from it still pending marked SC449/2011; Peter Ayodele Fayose v EFCC and Inspector General of Police with Suit No: FHC/A14CS/85/2006 following his illegal removal from office and the appeal case that followed it IGP & AG Federation v Peter Ayodele Fayose marked CA/B/44/2007.

The last case mentioned was E-Eleven v Peter Ayodele Fayose and 2 Ors filed to frustrate his swearing-in to the office after winning the 2014 governorship election.

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BIG STORY

Why We Paid Constables, Others ‘Huge Amounts’ For Osun Poll – Police

Peter Okunoren

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The Nigeria Police on Wednesday offered explanations on why it paid policemen deployed for Saturday’s governorship election in Osun State what was considered to be a huge amount of money.

The explanation was offered by the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood.

Moshood in a statement said the amount paid to the policemen were their Duty Tour Allowance for 10 days.

Reacting to a story on the payment, which some have termed as inducement, Moshood said: “It is imperative and incumbent on the Force to set the record straight and educate the writers of the story that the payment of allowance to Officers and Men of the Force and that of other Security and Safety Agencies complementing the Nigeria Police Force in election security is statutory and transparent in line with the Financial Regulations and Public Service Rules as it has to do with Duty Tour Allowance.

“To further disabuse the minds of members of the public who must have read the report and correct the mischief by the writers of the story, the following is the breakdown of the Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) entitlements paid to Police Officers and Men deployed for election duty in Osun State and other previous Gubernatorial elections held in Edo, Ondo, Anambra and Ekiti States.

“Ranks and File (Constable to Sergeant) – N5,000 DTA per Day X 10 Days = N50,000

“Inspector to Chief Superintendent of Police – N12,000 DTA per Day X 10 Days = N120,000

“Assistant Commissioner of Police – Assistant Inspector General of Police – N16,000 DTA per Day X 10 Days = N160,000

“Deputy Inspector General of Police – N20,000 DTA per Day X 10 Days = N200,000

“Consequently, either due to outright ignorance or deliberate mischief, the writers rushed to the press for purposes best known to them without a thorough check of what the Public Service Rules and Financial Regulations provide for every police personnel deployed for special duty, Election Duty and other ad-hoc duties as Duty Tour Allowance (DTA).

“The Force will continue to hold the media in a very high regard and as veritable partner in ensuring the protection of lives and property of all Nigerians, however, the Nigeria Police Force implores them not to allow the pages of their esteemed Newspapers to be used to publish unverified, misleading, mischievous and beer palour gossip.

“Members of the public are hereby enjoined to disregard, discountenance the story as untrue, misleading and misinformation.”

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BIG STORY

Ex-Kebbi Governor Writes Tinubu, Seeks Forgiveness For Ambode

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Former Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Adamu Aliero, has called on the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to allow Akinwunmi Ambode continue in office as the governor of Lagos despite the perceived political crisis between them.

Aliero, in a letter he personally signed and addressed to Tinubu, pleaded with the APC chieftain to allow Ambode retain the party’s ticket ahead of next year’s governorship election.

Aliero, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, while commending Tinubu for his immense contributions to the nation, the South West region and APC, also pleaded with him to give Ambode a second chance, adding that Lagos State and indeed the entire South West is crucial to the fortunes of the APC in the forthcoming general elections

According to Aliero: “I am writing this letter out of concern for the odious, concerning news in the media about your relationship with your protégée, Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State.

“I have known you for ages – long before you assumed the leadership of our great party, the All Progressives Congress, APC. You and I have, over the years, had cause to discuss Nigeria on many occasions; never have you, at any time, left any iota of doubt about your love – indeed, passion – for this great country and your desire to make optimal contribution to its growth and development…

“Lagos is growing faster than Nigeria because of your commanding and purposeful leadership. It would therefore not be too much for me to ask you to allow Ambode to retain the ticket of the party. No reward should be bigger for you than the victory of the APC at the forthcoming general elections.”

Continuing, Aliero, who hailed Tinubu’s leadership qualities and ability to spot, groom and nurture brilliant leaders, urged him not to pick a quarrel with Ambode, but rather use his image and status to secure victory for the party at the forthcoming general elections:

He said: “Our dear Asiwaju, knowing who you are – a visionary leader with a distinctively outstanding ability to identify and work with brilliant, focused and hardworking young men and women, I know of no endeavour that would have denied you your standing and image in the Nigeria of today. In view of your giant status as the undisputable leader of our great party and considering the times in which we are, I am certain that you will not, without good reason, pick a quarrel with Governor Ambode.

Lagos State, indeed the entire southwest, is crucial to the fortunes of the APC in the forthcoming general elections. It is in the same spirit that I want to plead with you not to spare any sacrifice that is necessary for the stabilization of the ship of our dear party in Lagos State.”

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