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$15m Frozen Accounts: SERAP Gives FG 7 Day Ultimatum To Prosecute Patience Jonathan

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dame-patience-jonathanThe Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has issued a seven day ultimatum to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), to prosecute Dame Patience Jonathan over $15million unexplained wealth frozen in four companies’ accounts.

SERAP urged the AGF to take the step of prosecuting the former First Lady within seven days or risk legal proceedings to compel him to discharge his constitutional duty.

According to the group, the AGF must use his good offices as a defender of public interest, and exercise his powers under Section 174(1) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), to urgently institute and undertake criminal proceedings against Mrs. Jonathan the source of funds in the frozen bank accounts, which she claimed belongs to her.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had while investigating Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Trans Ocean  Property and Investment Company Limited; Globus Integrated Service Limited and Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, placed a “Post No Debit” order on the companies’ bank accounts domiciled with Skye Bank.

But Mrs. Jonathan, who is the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, wrote to claim the funds frozen in the accounts and slammed a N200million damages suit of Skye Bank.

The former First Lady said the funds were to offset her medical bills and other expenses.

In a letter dated September 13, 2016 and signed by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, SERAP argued that, “Mrs. Jonathan is a politically exposed person under anticorruption standards. She is also covered under the definition of ‘public officials’ contained in the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party. Under article 2 of the convention, public officials include Mrs Jonathan or any other family members of the former President Goodluck Jonathan who exercised official duties while he was president”.

SEE ALSO: How $22.3m Was Wired into Patience Jonathan’s Skye Bank Accounts

The letter reads in part: “Under article 20 of the convention, this government has an obligation to prosecute intentional illicit enrichment, that is, a significant increase in the assets of a public official that he or she cannot reasonably explain in relation to his or her lawful income.

“The fact that the $15m found in the four accounts belong to Mrs. Jonathan raises serious suspicion or at the very least a prima-facie case of unexplained wealth/illicit enrichment, and imposes an obligation on Mrs. Jonathan to explain and justify the source(s) of the $15m.

“In the event that she is not able to justify, explain or put forth evidence demonstrating the legitimate origin of the $15m, SERAP urges you to take immediate steps to forfeit the asset under appropriate legal proceedings, and to institute criminal prosecution for unexplained wealth in the matter.

“Similarly, section 44 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act criminalises unexplained or illicit wealth and allows criminal penalties and forfeiture if in the course of an investigation there are reasonable grounds to believe that a corruption offence has been committed, that is, the failure to explain the origin of the $15m given present or past emoluments, and other relevant circumstances”.

SERAP pointed out that “Mrs. Jonathan has admitted that the four accounts belong to her and that she is the sole signatory to these accounts. The four accounts in which Mrs. Jonathan’s $15m was lodged are said to belong to the following companies: Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited, Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Limited, Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Globus Integrated Service Limited. Mrs. Jonathan was given a platinum card and exclusive access to the accounts.

“According to reports, a houseboy, a driver and other domestic workers of a former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamowei Dudafa, were named as directors”.

Pursuing prosecution in this case, SERAP argued, would help to provide adequate reparation, which may take the form of restitution, compensation, satisfaction or guarantees of non-repetition to victims of corruption who continue to be denied their right to an effective remedy.

“It would also send a clear message that cases of unexplained wealth or illicit enrichment involving politically exposed persons would not go unpunished”, SERAP said.

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Sanwo-Olu Names Building After Tinubu, Warns Youths Against Vandalism

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Sanwo-Olu Names Building After Tinubu, Warns Youths Against Vandalism

Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos has named the newly built Apapa-Iganmu Local Council Development Area after the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

This was made known in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Gboyega Akosile.

Sanwo-Olu also named the Agboyi-Ketu LCDA after the late Senator of Lagos East Senatorial District, Adebayo Osinowo.

He stated that the recent #EndSARS protests brought out the need for the government to double their efforts and prioritize youth development and empowerment.

Also Read: No Pardon For Rapists, Says Sanwo-Olu

The governor however warned youths against the destruction of the government’s assets built with public funds.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the decision of the council leadership in Agboyi-Ketu to name the edifice after Osinowo testified to the contributions he made to the development of the council.

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PDP Governor, Matawalle Commends Umahi For Joining APC

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PDP Governor, Matawalle Commends Umahi For Joining APC

Dave Umahi

Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has commended Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, for joining the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Governor Matawalle who is a governor on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) attributed Mr Umahi’s decamping to “bad blood in the present Peoples Democratic Party.”

Also Read: Gov. Umahi Sacks Political Appointees From Ohaukwu LGA

Governor Matawalle made this comment in a statement issued by his spokesperson, Zailani Bappa, on Friday.

He expressed that he would rather commend Umahi for “his bold decision rather than condemn him because everyone feels welcome only in a house where he feels comfortable.”

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You Are A Worthy Successor, Aregbesola Tells Oyetola

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You are a worthy successor, Aregbesola tells Oyetola

Aregbesola and Oyetola

Rauf Aregbesola, former Governor of Osun State and Minister of Interior, has described Governor Gboyega Oyetola as a worthy successor.

In a congratulatory statement in Osogbo on Friday to mark Oyetola’s second anniversary, the Minister said the Osun governor has weathered the storm of governance effectively.

Aregbesola wrote: “I write to congratulate you on the second anniversary of your administration.

“I look back with pride and nostalgia the hard-fought battle of your election and the continuation of progressive administration in the State of Osun.

Also Read: Oyetola Bans Sales Of School Uniforms

“There have been challenges along the line – the inclement national financial weather, the COVID-19 pandemic and others not so significant. But you have weathered the storm admirably and steadied the ship of state.

“The challenges will no doubt present a new format as you step into the third year. These are heightened political participation, pressure to deliver more dividends of democracy and increased demands from the political system. I have no doubt that you will cope nicely.

“Please continue to make the welfare of the people your biggest concern. They are the reason for the state. Without them there will be no government or any political office to occupy.

“Once again, congratulations, as I wish you a resounding success in office and every aspect of life.

“My kind regards to the good wife, Alhaja Kafayat Oyetola and the entire cabinet of the State of Osun.”

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