Nigeria’s former first lady, Patience Jonathan, has revealed that the $15m out of the $31.4m which was frozen in four companies’ accounts are for her medical bills, PUNCH reports.
The revelation was made by her as she wrote in a letter to the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
The letter which was written by her lawyers, Granville Abibo (SAN) and Co, had the reference number GA/Abibo/00226/2016.
A houseboy, a driver and other domestic workers of a former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to Jonathan, Waripamowei Dudafa, were named as directors of the companies’ accounts in which the money was lodged.
Another $5m had been traced to an account reportedly belonging to the former first lady.
The letter read in part:
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.
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.
Despite the foregoing, our client, who is a law-abiding citizen, has watched with surprise how efforts are being made surreptitiously to indirectly harass or harangue her and short-change her of her personal funds in breach of her fundamental human rights.
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.
According to PUNCH, a detective in the EFCC 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 Jonathanat 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?
She has a separate account in Skye Bank with the title ‘ Patience Jonathan’, which has a balance of $5m. If she claims she needs money for medical treatment, then the $5m should be alright.