Tuesday, 27 February 2018

‘Why we ’re investigating Patience Jonathan’ - EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has confirmed that it was investigating former First Lady Patience Jonathan for her alleged involvement in money laundering activities.
It added that the investigation was informed by its discovery that she allegedly laundered money and bought property beyond her legitimate earnings.
An investigator with the EFCC, Kolawole Mukaila, who is a member of a special task force constituted by the commission to investigate the ex-First Lady, said this in a court document.
Mukaila, who deposed to a counter-affidavit filed by the EFCC, said his special task force is “investigating alleged amounts of money laundered by the former First Lady into various accounts and property purchased, which are disproportionate to her known source of income”.
The EFCC investigator also described as misleading claim by Mrs. Jonathan that her property in Abuja had been demolished by an agency at the instigation of the commission.
Mukaila, in a counter affidavit filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja, said  against Mrs. Jonathan’s claim, the property housing some organisations linked to her was never demolished.
Mrs. Jonathan’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), told the court that on January 22, a property owned by a group – A. Aruera Reachout Foundation/Women for Change and Development Initiative, linked with the ex-First Lady, has been demolished by a government agency
He said the property, an uncompleted structure, is located on Shehu Yar’Adua Way, Mabushi-Kado Life Camp Expressway, Abuja.
When asked by the court if he was aware of the alleged demolition, lawyer to the EFCC, Benjamin Manji, denied knowledge of such development.
Manji said he was hearing for the first time that the property, the subject of an ex-parte motion the EFCC filed, had been demolished.
He said the property was a subject of an ongoing investigation of alleged money laundering case by the EFCC, which informed the motion for interim forfeiture now pending before the court.
In view of EFCC’s position, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba directed that the true position be investigated and that parties should report to the court at the next hearing date.
It was in compliance with the directive of the judge that the EFCC filed its counter affidavit dated February 23, 2018. It was in response to an earlier affidavit by Ozekhome (dated February 7) complaining about the alleged demolition.
Mukaila stated that contrary to the claim by Mrs. Jonathan’s lawyer, the property in question, known as Plot No: 1758 Cadastral Zone A00, Central Business District, Abuja, still exists and was never demolished by any person or group of persons.
He said the position presented by Ozekhome at the last hearing in the case (on January 22),  “misrepresented facts in making the court to believe that the entire structure, which the applicant (EFCC) applied to be forfeited, was demolished by officers of the applicant in conjunction with the Federal Capital Development Authority/Development Control (FCDA/DC)”.
Mukaila stated that what was demolished by FCDA/DC was a mini chalet situated behind the main structure due to non-approval.
When the case was called yesterday, EFCC’s lawyer Rimamsomte Ezekiel informed the court about the counter-affidavit, which he said has been served on the respondent.
Ozekhome acknowledged service, but said he required time to respond because he was served late last Friday.
Justice Dimgba later adjourned to April 12 for hearing.  (The Nation)

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