Patience Jonathan: EFCC probes new accounts with huge lodgements

• CCB asked to speak on Jonathan, wife’s assets declaration

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is probing new bank accounts with huge lodgements in relation to the ongoing probe of a former First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, Nigerian Tribune was told last night.

The new accounts are domiciled in banks that were not part of the ones holding the contentious $22.3 million linked to the wife of the immediate past president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.

A top commission source disclosed that huge transactions had been discovered in the said accounts, suspected to have links to the ongoing probe.

The source added that it would be incorrect to put a figure to the amounts in the newly-discovered accounts, especially as regards transactions that took place on them, as probe was still on.

Nigerian Tribune was also told that it would be hasty to conclude that the former First Lady had anything to do with the said accounts, until the probe was concluded.

When asked if an interim figure could be put to the accounts, the source said that would be impossible.

“Investigation is ongoing. That is the much I can say now. We want to stay out of media as much as we can in conducting this probe,” the source said.

Meanwhile an Abuja-based human rights lawyer, Mr Osuagwu Ugochukwu, has asked the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to speak out on the asset declaration forms submitted by Jonathan and his wife.

In an application he filed to the bureau, he said it would serve public interest  to establish whether Jonathan declared the $22.3 million linked to his wife as required by law at the end of his tenure in 2015.

Ugochukwu, in a letter to the chairman of CCB, Mr Sam Saba, dated September 1, also sought to know if Patience Jonathan declared her assets upon exit as permanent secretary in Bayelsa State.

He claimed to be acting in the interest of the public and in the exercise of his rights, pursuant to sections one and four of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.

According to him “on May 19, 2015, the CCB, in an advertorial by its acting secretary, Kolade Omoyola, in some newspapers had reminded ‘political office holders to declare their assets on assumption and vacation of office, in accordance with Paragraph II of the 5th Schedule of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended,

“The Code of Conduct Bureau has asked President Goodluck Jonathan, his deputy and 42 ministers in his cabinet to declare their assets.

“The bureau reportedly issued the Completed Assets Declaration Forms to all concerned, with a 30-day deadline to return the completed forms before exiting office.

“Usually, every public servant declares what the spouse earns and must have acquired as property or asset in their spouses (public servant) declaration forms.

“This brings me to whether ex-president Jonathan declared or completed his Exit Asset Declaration forms with the CCB,” he said.

The human right activist asked whether or not the $31.5 million or $20 million as being claimed by Patience Jonathan was declared in May 2015 in President Jonathan’s exit forms with the CCB.