Order probe of Patience Jonathan, Group asks Court

Dame Patience Jonathan
Dame Patience Jonathan

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has dragged the Federal Government to the Federal High Court in Lagos asking the court for “leave to apply for Judicial Relief and to seek an order of Mandamus directing and or compelling the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against former first lady Mrs. Dame Patience Jonathan over $15m unexplained wealth frozen in four companies’ accounts.”
 
The organization is also asking the court “for such order or other orders as the honourable court may deem fit to make in the circumstance.”
 
The suit with number FHC/L/CS/1318/2016 dated September 23 was filed on behalf of SERAP by Adetokunbo Mumuni. SERAP’s suit is coming against the background of the request last week by Mrs. Jonathan for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to defreeze her accounts and offer her a public apology within 14-days.
 
SERAP’s suit brought under Order 34, Rules 1 (1) (a); 2, Rule 3 (1) and (2) (a), (b) and (c) of the Federal High Court Rules, 2009 and Inherent Jurisdiction of the Court reads in part: “The Attorney General of the Federation has a duty 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.”
 
“By virtue of Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) the Attorney General of the Federation is constitutionally empowered to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person in Nigeria in respect of any offence created by or under any Act of the National assembly in superior courts in Nigeria.”
 
“The Attorney General of the Federation has failed, neglected and or refused to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against Mrs. Dame Patience Jonathan over $15m unexplained wealth frozen in her accounts.”
 
“Obedience to the rule of law by all citizens but more particularly those who publicly took oath of office to protect and preserve the constitution is a desideratum to good governance and respect for the rule of law. In a democratic society, this is meant to be a norm; it is an apostasy for government to ignore the provisions of the law and the necessary rules made to regulate matters”.
 
“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.”
 
“This matter is presently generating a lot of public concern and discourse and is presently in the front burner of national discourse thus germane to Nigerians and that the alleged crime is in our society at the moment regarded so serious as to be a bother on daily life. By the nature of the case, it ought to be heard urgently. It is in the interest of justice to grant this application.”
 
SERAP is asking for:
 
A DECLARATION that the failure of the Respondent to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against Mrs. Dame Patience Jonathan over $15m unexplained wealth frozen in four companies’ accounts is unconstitutional and unlawful as it contradicts and in conflict with the duties and obligations of the Respondent under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000
 
AN ORDER OF MANDAMUS compelling the Respondent to urgently institute and undertake criminal proceedings against Mrs. Dame Patience Jonathan over $15m unexplained wealth frozen in four companies’ accounts.
 
“Nigerian laws allow for 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.”
 
“By a letter dated September 13, 2016, requested the Attorney General of the Federation to urgently institute and undertake criminal proceedings against one Mrs. Dame Patience Jonathan over $15m unexplained wealth frozen in four companies’ accounts. But since the receipt of the letter, and up till the filing of this suit, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has so far failed, refused and/ or neglected to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against Mrs. Dame Patience Jonathan.”
 
“Mrs. Jonathan has admitted that the four accounts belong to her and that she is the sole signatory to these accounts. The four Companies and their directors have since pleaded guilty to the commission of the offence. The fact that the $15 million 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 a duty on Mrs. Jonathan to explain and justify the source(s) of the $15 million.”
 
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.
 


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  • God dey

    I absolutely support and back her prosecution. Buhari should not be intimidated by all the rascals called militants demonstrating in support of corruption. They are the reason the country is where it is. #ProsecutePatienceJonathanNow

    • RestructureNigeriaNow

      Like Buratai? You know why the black race is this backward? Our hypocrisy. We are doomed as a people. SMH.

  • agbobu

    THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) investigators
    probing ex-First Lady Patience Jonathan’s link with five choice
    buildings, including a N5billion hotel in Abuja, have unearthed seven
    additional properties believed to be owned by her.

    The detectives were in Port Harcourt (Rivers State) and Yenagoa (Bayelsa
    State) all week trying to establish whether four properties in the two
    cities truly belong to Mrs. Jonathan.

    The Nation can now confirm that the assignment led the investigators to
    suspect that seven more properties including the former Customs Service
    officers mess in Port Harcourt and a plot of land under construction
    were acquired by her.

    Others in the Rivers State capital are: two duplexes at 2/3 Bauchi
    Street; landed property with blocks at Ambowei Street; three Luxury
    apartments of 4-bedroom each at Ambowei Street; and Grand View Hotel on
    Airport road.

    Those in Yenagoa are: two marble duplexes at Otioko GRA by Isaac Boro
    Expressway; Glass House on Sani Abacha Expressway which serves as office
    of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board; Akemfa Etie
    Plaza by AP filling Station, Melford Okilo Road; and Aridolf Resort,
    Wellness and Spa along Sani Abacha Expressway.

    The anti-graft agency, which says it has so far recovered N1b and
    secured 24 convictions in the South South, may invoke Section 7 of the
    EFCC Establishment Act 2004 on the affected properties after due
    verification, sources said yesterday.

    Already, the EFCC has written to the Head of the Civil Service in
    Bayelsa State demanding the pay status and allowances of Mrs. Jonathan
    during her tenure as a Permanent Secretary.

    It also sought explanation on whether or not she was paid in dollars, besides travelling estacodes, while in office.

    The investigators are already back in Abuja to continue their assignment.

    THE PROPERTIES

    PORT HARCOURT – Former Customs Service officers mess –
    Two duplexes at 2/3 Bauchi Street – Landed property at Ambowei Street –
    Three luxury apartments of 4-bedroom each at Ambowei Street – Grand View
    Hotel on Airport Road

    YENAGOA – Two marble duplexes at Otioko GRA by Isaac
    Boro Expressway – Glass House on Adaka Boro Expressway – Akemfa Etie
    Plaza by AP Filling Station, Melford Okilo Road – Aridolf Resort,
    Wellness and Spa on Isaac Boro Abacha Expressway

    A highly placed source said: “The ex-First Lady is allegedly linked with
    the acquisition of the former Customs Service Officers mess in
    Port-Harcourt.

    “We also identified three luxury apartments of four-bedroom each
    believed to be owned by Mrs. Jonathan. The apartments are tastefully
    furnished with the state of the art accessories.

    “After verification of these assets and completion of our investigation,
    we may seek the order of the court to place the affected assets under
    Interim Forfeiture.

    “Permission will be sought to ask the ex-First Lady to explain some of
    the sources of her wealth in line with Section 7 of the EFCC
    Establishment Act.

    “As a First Lady, there was no appropriation for her office and she was not on salary.”

    The Nation also gathered that the EFCC last Friday submitted a letter to
    the Head of the Bayelsa State Civil Service demanding the pay status
    and allowances of Mrs. Jonathan as a Permanent Secretary.

    A top source said: “The letter was submitted and duly acknowledged. We
    already have the acknowledgement copy with us for record purpose.

    “We asked for Mrs. Jonathan’s salary and remuneration status as a
    Permanent Secretary while in office. We demanded to know if she was paid
    in dollars or in any other currency.

    “We wrote the letter in line with Section 7 of the EFCC Act because we suspected that she has been living above her means.”

    Section 7 of the EFCC Act says: “The commission has power to (a) cause
    any investigations to be conducted as to whether any person, corporate
    body or organization has committed any offence under this Act or other
    law relating to economic and financial crimes.

    “(b) Cause investigations to be conducted into the properties of any
    person if it appears to the commission that the person’s lifestyle and
    extent of the properties are not justified by his source of income.”

    This is the second leg of the ongoing probe of Mrs. Jonathan after about
    $19.8million had been frozen in five accounts allegedly traced to her.

    Although she initially confirmed the ownership of the accounts, there
    was a twist on Friday when her counsel, Mr. Charles Ogboli, said she
    knew about three accounts including one belonging to Mrs. Jonathan and
    two others owned by her late mum, Madam Charity Fyneface Oba.

    A report of the EFCC investigative team had implicated the former First Lady.

    The report of the investigative team said in part: “Based on the
    investigation so far carried out, it has revealed that the four
    fraudulent VISA Platinum USD Card accounts used by Mrs. Patience
    Goodluck Jonathan has a cumulative balance of $14,029.881.79 which has
    been swept Post No Debit Card category.

    “Again, her personal account, different from the four fraudulent VISA
    Platinum USD Card accounts, bears the balance of $5,841,426.17.

    “Considering the above stated findings, we can safely conclude that a
    prima facie case of conspiracy to retain proceeds of unlawful
    activities, retention of the proceeds of unlawful activities, money
    laundering contrary to Section 15(3) and 18(a) of the Money Laundering
    (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and forgery contrary to Section 1(2)
    (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation,
    2004 have been established against the aforementioned suspects.”

    The EFCC claimed that all the funds traced to Patience Jonathan’s accounts were proceeds of gratification.

    The report said: “The intelligence revealed that Dr. Dudafa
    Waripamo-Owei Emmanuel fraudulently received various sums of money,
    being proceeds of gratification and retained same on behalf of the then
    first Family and for himself.”

    Meanwhile, the Zonal Head of the EFCC in the South-South, Mr. Ishaq
    Saliu has said that the zone has so far secured 24 convictions and
    recovered N1billion.

    Saliu made the disclosures in Port Harcourt when some Niger Delta youths
    protested to his office on Friday against the ongoing investigation of
    the former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan.

    He dismissed allegations that the EFCC was selective in its investigation and prosecution.

    He said the EFCC will always be on the side of the law in its operations.

    He said: “There is nothing selective in the cases of EFCC. We are
    professionals to the core. Once an allegation is made, before somebody
    is even invited – the invitation is the last leg of our cases.

    “Bank documents and things we need to inquire would have been gotten.
    Port Harcourt Zonal office alone, this year has 24 convictions and
    recovered over N1billion.”

  • dami

    The money was meant for pdp delegates during the convention…no one in the pdp is saying anything about how and why mama piss diverted “party” money…but their silence is deafening.

    • agbobu

      WE WILL DETAIL THE ABUJA, LAGOS, UK, THE USA, UAE, SOUTH AFRICA, ETC
      PROPERTIES, LOOTS AND EVEN BANK ACCOUNTS OF AGENTS, CRONIES, ETC. YOU
      HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING YET.

    • Julius

      Because majority of them had their shares on the monies. They can not talk else mama piss will spill the beans. Remember there is no honor among thieves .

      • dami

        It sounds more like mama piss swallowed the money alone…

        • Julius

          Well, as fat as she is, I dont doubt it > Be nice…lolz

  • agbobu

    AND WE WILL GIVE DETAILS OF THE ABUJA, LAGOS, UK, THE USA, UAE, SOUTH AFRICA, ETC
    PROPERTIES, LOOTS AND EVEN BANK ACCOUNTS OF AGENTS, CRONIES, ETC. YOU
    HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING YET.

  • Julius

    Could they institute a legal actions againt her without waiting for the efcc and AG ?. Do we have something akin to citizen legal actions against criminals ?

  • Arabakpura

    The picture above should worry any true Rivers indigene! Clearly, there is a conduit pipe close to and directed at their treasury!