Former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, has slammed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, stating that the anti-graft agency hired mercenaries to plead guilty to money laundering charges on behalf of the four companies linked to her, in a bid by EFCC to confiscate her money. The wife of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, in a statement by her media aide, Chima Osuji, on Thursday, alleged that the ploy is ‘a clear evidence of the desperation of the prosecution to pull down the former First Lady and confiscate her hard-earned money’. Patience said that the four persons presented in court were unknown to the companies and were not authorised by the companies’ boards to plead guilty on behalf of the companies, stressing that the EFCC failed to comply with Section 477 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, by not presenting to the court on Thursday any letter to show that the four persons were authorised by the companies to represent them.
“This is a clear evidence of the desperation of the prosecution to pull down the former First Lady and confiscate her hard-earned money. It is an irony that it was the former First Lady who went to court for the repatriation of her confiscated money when she realised that the EFCC and its co-travellers were playing politics with this issue after she had come out publicly to say that the said money belongs to her and that she has all evidence to prove the sources of her money. Up till this very moment, the EFCC has refused to interrogate or invite her for questioning. The biggest twist in court on Thursday was that the fourth to seventh defendants pleaded guilty to all the 15 counts. It is clear that these unknown faces were agents of the EFCC, who have been stage-managed and tutored to come to court to complicate the case as a strategy to confiscate her money,” Osuji said in the statement.
Recall that an aide to former President Jonathan, Warpamo Dudafa and two others were on Thursday arraigned before Justice Babs Kuewumi of a Federal High Court in Lagos over alleged $15,000,000 dollars fraud. On Wednesday, Dame Jonathan, urged the EFCC to lift the restriction on her $15m accounts, which was frozen in four companies’ accounts by the anti-graft agency, claiming that she uses the accounts to settle medical bills outside the country. Meanwhile the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has given the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami ( SAN), a seven- day ultimatum to prosecute Dame Jonathan.