Connect with us

National News

EFCC discovers property worth N6bn belonging to former first lady

Published

on

An eight-storey building in a prime area of Abuja allegedly belonging to the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan was discovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC ).

The building, which has been described by the EFCC as a ‘magnificent architectural edifice,’ has not yet been valued by the commission.

 However, comparative analysis of similar buildings on several trading sites such as OLX.com and Jiji.ng, within the same area put the worth of the building at N6bn.

Our correspondent, who visited the building, which is located within the Central Business District, is between the National Mosque and the Federal Secretariat.

It was alleged in documents sighted by our correspondent that Patience allegedly acquired the property through her foundation known as Aribawa Aurera Reach Out Foundation.

In a document, which has been attached to a court application, the anti-graft agency said it had written to the Corporate Affairs Commission to get the identities of the directors of the foundation who are believed to be fronts for Patience.

The commission further stated that it had written to the Abuja Geographical Information System to get the history of the property and how and when it was bought.

The anti-graft agency has also written eight banks: Skye Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank, Union Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, United Bank for Africa and Unity Bank.

The EFCC had a few months ago frozen an account belonging to Aribawa Aurera Reach Out Foundation with account number 1222014221 in Ecobank with a balance of N479m.

The anti-graft agency said there was no way Patience would have been able to afford such a property as her last known job was Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa State.

The document read, “Plot 1350 Cadastral Zone A00 CBD which was allocated to Ariwabai Aurera Reach Out Foundation in 2010 and Certificate of Occupancy issued in 2011. The plot bears an eight-storey building still under construction.

“Inference may be drawn from investigation that the suspect’s (Patience) last known official position was permanent secretary in Bayelsa State. Hence, there is no way such magnificent architectural edifices could have been built within a short space of time.

“There is a high probability that it could have been built with the proceeds of crime. It is evidently clear that it is a case of money laundering but there is a need to do more investigation.”

The commission also commenced fresh moves to seize a N2bn hotel from Patience.

The PUNCH had exclusively reported that the hotel, which is located at Mabushi, had been painted with the inscription, ‘EFCC, Keep Off.’

However, some men believed to be workers of Patience, wiped off the EFCC inscription and reclaimed the building.

The anti-graft agency, it was learnt, had proceeded to court to obtain an interim forfeiture order for the N2bn hotel and the N6bn plaza.

The document read in part, “In view of the foregoing, I request for an interim forfeiture order on the two properties amongst others linked to the suspect and believed to have been acquired from the proceeds of crime.

“This is particularly very important because attempts to mark the properties were resisted and even the portion that was successfully marked was later cleaned off by the agents of the suspect.”

In a similar development, the anti-graft agency has also traced three other properties in Abuja to Patience in Karsana, Wasa and Idogwari areas of the Federal Capital Territory.

According to documents from AGIS, the three properties were bought in the names of two companies – Finchley Top Homes Ltd. and AM-PM Network Limited.

The bank accounts of Finchley Top Homes Limited, which have been traced to Patience, were frozen by the commission a few months ago.

The accounts include: Account number 1102001996 in Ecobank, with a balance of N226,376,700.23 and a fixed deposit of N1,099,511,484.88; a Skye Bank account numbered 1771731336, with a balance of N14,173,848.85; Fidelity Bank account numbered, 4011019539 with a balance of N1,800,494,000; Stanbic Bank account numbered, 0016901361, with a balance of N40,594,12.88; and Diamond Bank account 0019213687 with a balance of N39,418,712.12.

In his reaction, Patience’s lawyer, Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), said he was not aware of the fresh attempt to seize more of his client’s properties.

He, however, said it was sad that the former first lady had become a victim of a witch-hunt.

Adedipe said her client had dragged the EFCC to the Court of Appeal over the freezing of Mrs. Jonathan’s account while a harassment suit had been filed against the anti-graft agency before a Federal High Court.

The senior advocate said, “I am not aware of any of these but we are in court over the freezing of her accounts and that case is at the Court of Appeal level and we have a fundamental human rights against them in court.

“My thinking is that the EFCC, which says nobody is above the law, should have waited for the judiciary to finish its process. In my humble opinion, it appears they are abusing judicial powers. When you file something today, tomorrow you file another. Why not put everything in one pot? That is why they lose cases.

“Why are they focusing on Mrs. Jonathan who was neither a minister nor a government official? I’m not saying people should steal but it may seem she is being persecuted for her active role in the last election.”

Patience first came under EFCC investigation in May 2016 when the commission arrested a former Special Adviser to the President on Domestic Affairs, Waripamowei Dudafa.

Mrs. Jonathan laid claim to about $15m found in bank accounts allegedly belonging to Dudafa’s domestic servants.

She subsequently sued Skye Bank Plc and the EFCC. The commission then went ahead to freeze her personal account with a balance of $5m.

The anti-graft agency had also frozen bank accounts belonging to her relatives and friends including business mogul, Bola Shagaya.

Source: ( Punch Newspaper )

National News

If Nigeria Doesn’t Restructure, It Will Break Up – Gani Adams

Published

on

If Nigeria Doesn’t Restructure, It Will Break Up - Gani Adams
If Nigeria Doesn’t Restructure, It Will Break up, Says Social Activist Gani Adams

Gani Adams

Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland and leader of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Gani Adams has expressed that Nigeria is on a verge of a break up except there is a restructuring of the country.

Speaking to Arise TV on Sunday, Gani Adams stated that there is a need to get to the root cause of the problems that led to the #EndSARS protests by Nigerian youths.

According to Adams, the youths have sacrificed a lot to push positive change in Nigeria.

“After they were attacked by the military on Tuesday, a lot has happened,” Adams continued, explaining that the realisation that Nigeria’s constituent units are too dependent on the federal government for security hit hard, with the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu admitting he was not in charge of the situation.

Also Read: Fani-Kayode Condemns Video Asking Igbo Indigenes To Leave Yorubaland

“If we continue like this, the future of Nigeria is bleak,” he insisted. “That’s why I’ve clamoured for restructuring.”

Taling about the violence in different parts of Lagos in the past few days, Adams accused politicians of sponsoring the burning of the Orile police station in Lagos, stating that hoodlums attack across the state was carefully planned.

He stated that politicians orchestrated the violence so as to have an excuse to impose a 24-hour curfew in Lagos.

Continue Reading

National News

End SARS Protest, A Wake-Up Call To Nigerian Elite: Okorocha

Published

on

End SARS Protest, A Wake-Up Call To Nigerian Elite: Okorocha
End SARS Protest, A Wake-Up Call To Nigerian Elite: Okorocha

Rochas Okorocha

Former Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has expressed that the #EndSARS protest is not targeted at the police alone but also a wake-up call to Nigerian elites.

He expressed that the protest is also aimed at ending bad governance, poverty, and joblessness in the country.

The former Imo State Governor made this known on Saturday while speaking with journalists in Abuja.

He called on political office holders to sacrifices part of their salaries and allowances to help the youths.

The lawmaker further stated that their lifestyles of politicians provoke Nigerians and it’s time to wake-up to their responsibilities.

Also Read: El-Rufai Imposes 24-hour Curfew On Seven Communities In Kaduna

“What started a few days ago as a peaceful protest escalated into violent one with many souls lost and properties burnt.

“This situation is very unfortunate and highly regrettable one. I want to sympathize with those that have lost their loved ones due to the protests.

“However, I want to say that this is a wake-up call by the youths of this country to the leaders of this nation.

“It is also a proof that we the elite have been selfish in handling the affairs of this country. There has been a track record of unfair leadership for a long time.

“The End SARS protest is not just targeted at police but a disappointment over economic issues in a nation where we have joblessness and poverty for the youths.

“Today, we have millions of out of school children in the country, and this is another time bomb for tomorrow.

“The government and leaders must rise to their responsibilities to ensure that such future occurrences do not happen again.”

Continue Reading

National News

#EndSARS: Enugu Govt Adjusts 24-Hour Curfew

Published

on

#EndSARS: Enugu Govt Adjusts 24-Hour Curfew
#EndSARS: Enugu Govt Adjusts 24-Hour Curfew

Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi

Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has relaxed the 24-hour curfew imposed on the residents of the State.

Recall that the Governor had declared curfew in Enugu East, Enugu North, and Enugu South Local Government Areas of the state following an outbreak of violence in those areas.

However, following the return of relative calm and hardship being suffered by residents of the affected areas, the Governor adjusted the curfew.

Also Read: #ENDSARS: IGP Talks Tough, Says Enough Is Enough

This was announced in a statement issued by the State Commissioner for Information, Mr Chidi Aroh, on Saturday.

“In its place, a 13-hour curfew from 6 pm to 7 am daily, is imposed in Enugu East, Enugu North and Enugu South Local Government Areas, with effect from 6 pm on Sunday, 25th October 2020 until further notice.”

Continue Reading

Trending