Nigeria’s former first lady, Patience Jonathan,has denied any links with companies under investigation. Her media aide, Yemi Akinbode, said Mrs Jonathan was constrained to respond to “tissues of lies being churned out” by EFCC.
The statement read in part:
“That Mrs. Jonathan is laying claim to ownership of $31.7m is a complete fallacy.” Mrs. Jonathan does not own and has never owned such amount of money. He also added that another sum of $20m has been traced to Mrs. Jonathan, is again, another falsehood. He further stated that the sum of $5m has again being traced to another account of Mrs. Jonathan. This is also a fallacy.
Mrs. Jonathan opening accounts in the names of cooks, drivers and artisans, is seen to be the biggest falsehood. Mrs. Jonathan picked holes in the authenticity of the representatives of the four companies who pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering.
Her lawyer, Gboyega Oyewole, said she would appeal the validity of the representatives. Mrs Jonathan was quoted as saying: “This is an irony. I was the one who went to court for the repatriation of my confiscated money when I realized that the EFCC and its co-travelers were playing politics with this issue after I had come out publicly to say that the said money belongs to me and that I have all evidence to prove the sources of my money. Up till this very moment, EFCC has refused to interrogate or invite me for questioning, while the agency has continued to detain GEJ’s aide, Dudafa, under heavy armed security guards. The biggest twist in court today was that the representatives pleaded guilty. 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 my money.”
Mrs Jonathan restated that she was the sole signatory to all the accounts, contrary to the fabrication that she used her driver and cook as proxies. She added that her accounts were opened in order to facilitate her travel overseas. On how her monies got to the accounts, she said she directed Dudafa to open the accounts for her, only for him to open them in his companies’ names.