Between the last the two years and now , the Ibrahim Magu,
led Economic and Financial crimes Commission, EFCC, and Patience Jonathan,a
former Nigeria First Lady and wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan have
been in the Court over alleged Corruption
case against the later.
The anti-graft agency
was said to have filed an exparte motion seeking for an interim forfeiture
of the sum of an alleged N1, 494,0000.00 fund hidden away in the bank account of Magel Resort
Limited, a Company which was also linked to her.
The anti-graft agency claimed that it got to know about the
secret account through credible intelligence report alleging that a ”bank
domiciled in Fidelity was said to stored
huge amount of money that is not being used for anybody.
The agency may have become suspicious about the account when
it was found that nobody was actually operating it the secret account. Acting
on the intelligence report ,it was said to have conducted a preliminary investigation , which was said to have exposed the former
first lady and some blood relations of Jonathan, the erstwhile President were Directors of the Company.
Given an insider information, the Commission disclosed that the first N500million was deposited on the account on
May 20, 2015 in the bank, nine days to the handover of power to President Muhammadu
Buhari, who won the 2015 Presidential
election on the ticket of the All progressive Congress, APC by one Esther Fyface,
who was alleged to be in-charge of the Company
The Commission tweeted that the additional one billion naira was allegedly transferred in two tranches on May 25, 2015, ,from Pagmat OIL and Gas Nig lt, a company it made Nigerians tobelieve was not incorporated with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC. The EFCC legal team may not have rested on their oars as they have pursued the case armed with all the evidence to show that the amount was not legitimately earned by the then first lady. The anti-graft had secured an interim order to freeze the erstwhile first lady’s alleged Company, Magel Resort Limited account number 0401101954 maintained with Fidelity bank . The trial Judge Lewis Alagoa, was said to have given the interim order for the forfeiture of the amount linked to Dame Jonathan, the wife of the then President. The trial Judge, according the Commission in a Statement had ruled that the forfeited amountbedeposited in the Treasury Single Account of the government with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. first lady found in the defunct Skye Bank now polaris bank. In giving the interim forfeiture order, for the forfeiture of the money found in also ordered that that the forfeited amount be deposited in Single Treasury Account of the government with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. The Value news learnttherre was jubilation in government circles over the Court ruling that Dame Jonathan must forfeit the secret money lodged in Skye bank , now Polaris bank to the government. This may have swollen up the money recovered for the government over the last three years to over N800 billion.
This may not be the only case between the Commission and the former first lady. Recall that she had dragged the Commission to Court demanding N200 million as damages for infringing on her rights. She had also requested the Court to issue an order discharging the freezing order and restraining the Commission against further placing a freezing order on her accounts. The former first lady may have won one of her cases against the anti-graft agency unblocking her domiciliary account containing $5,842,316,.66 at defunct Skye Bank, now Polaris, which is under a different management team. Also, affected by the same Court order were accounts of five companies, linked to her , holding N7.4 billion. The affected Companies liked to Dame Jonathan, which the Court had rule the EFCC, must not freeze its account in the bank include Finchley Top Homes ltd, Aribawa Ariera Reachout Foundation, Magel Resort ltd, AM-PM Global Network ltdand Oil and Gas ltd and the account of Esther Oba holding $429,381.87 . The accounts were said to have been located into six different banks President Muhammadu Buhari did not find it funny EFCC losing the case to Mrs. Jonathan. His anger was well expressed when he told Walter Kanu Onnoghen , the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, last April, in the Presidential Villa, that the anti-corruption war was losing steam which the embattled CJN, clearly told him, that the anti-graft agency have opportunity to appeal against any Judgment they may have lost in Court. This is not what the Katsina state born Nigeria President want to hear but to see the former first lady losing the billions of naira allegedly found in the companies linked to her Bank accounts.
The EFCC may have queued into Onnoghen’s position in Law
that if you lose a case and you know you have enough to get Justice from the
Court, the best to do is to appeal against the subsisting Judgment.
The Commission, which lost a N450 million corruption case against Sani Danladi , a former governor of Taraba, was said to havedroped hint of going to appeal against the Court ruling. The erstwhile governor, along with two others, Joel Ikenya and MARK Useni, were said to have dragged by the anti-graft agency over alleged conspiracy and violation of financial regulations which was an outcome of their investigation. The agency may be optimistic of jailing Danladi, the former Taraba governor as two former Independent National Electoral Commission, were said to have been on January 25, 2019, for similar offences. The Commission which did not find the Court ruling on the former governor funny , described it as ”worrisome and tragic’