$26 million: Investigate Patience Jonathan now, CSNAC tells police fraud unit

The Civil Society Network Against Corruption, CSNAC, has asked the Commissioner of Police in the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police Force, to urgently commence investigation on an alleged case of fraud and impersonation by former first lady, Patience Jonathan, and one Dipo Oshodi, a manager at Skye Bank Plc.

In a petition forwarded to the Police fraud unit in Lagos and signed by the coalition’s chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, CSNAC said the banking transactions involving Mrs. Jonathan and the Skye bank official, indicate that cases of fraud and impersonation occurred.

The group said following the investigation of a former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Jonathan, Waripamowei Dudafa, wherein the EFCC traced four companies’ accounts to him with a balance of $15 million, coupled with the admission of wife of former president, Dame Patience Jonathan, of ownership of the said funds, an additional sum of $5million was traced to her account lodged at Skye Bank Plc.

“The EFCC has subsequently charged Dudafa and the four companies with money laundering.

The four companies, whose accounts have since been frozen, are 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.

“In response to the freezing of the said accounts, Dame Patience Jonathan has filed a N200m fundamental rights enforcement suit against Skye Bank Plc for freezing her bank accounts and supplying the EFCC vital information about her finances.

“However, in the affidavit filed by one Sammie Somiari on behalf of Patience Jonathan in support of the application, he said that it was Dudafa who helped Patience open the four bank accounts which the EFCC froze.”

According to him, Mr. Dudafa had on March 22, 2010 brought two Skye Bank officers, Demola Bolodeoku and Dipo Oshodi, to meet Mrs. Jonathan at home to open five accounts.

“The deponent claimed that Patience was the sole signatory to the accounts.

“He, however, claimed that after the five accounts were opened, Patience later discovered that Dudafa opened only one of the accounts in her name, while the other four were opened in the names of companies belonging to Dudafa.”

Somiari added, “The applicant (Patience) complained about this to Dudafa, who at his prompting and instance promised to effect the change of the said accounts to the applicant’s name; and to effect this change, Dudafa brought the said bank manager, Mr. Dipo Oshodi, who was purported to have effected the changes. This was about April 2014.

“The applicant is not a director, shareholder or participant in the companies named in the aforementioned four accounts.”

“The bank official, Mr. Dipo Oshodi, as it would appear, did not effect or reflect the instruction of the applicant to change the said accounts to her name(s) despite repeated requests of the applicant”.

“Furthermore, besides, the ATM credit cards bearing the said companies’ names were brought to the applicant by Mr. Dipo Oshodi of the second respondent bank, who promised to replace them once the cards bearing the changed names were available, but he never did.”

Mr. Somiari did admit in his affidavit that “However, since 2010 up until 2014 and thereafter, the applicant had been using the cards on the said accounts and operating the said accounts without let or hindrance”.

He further averred “Even in May, June and July 2016, the applicant travelled overseas for medical treatment and was using the said credit cards abroad up until July 7, 2016 or thereabout when the cards stopped functioning.”

CSNAC said that from the foregoing, it is evident that some forms of fraud, impersonation and criminal intentions were conceived, designed and executed in the transaction between Mr. Dudafa, Dame Jonathan, Dipo Oshodi and Skye bank.

“There is no better way to qualify a transaction where companies accounts is operated by an individual as a sole signatory, without any legal connection with the company, and also operate ATM cards of the said companies than fraud, money laundering, criminal conspiracy and impersonation.

“These issues for investigations are: Where is the Know Your Customer regulation for banks under this transaction; why would Mrs. Jonathan open and operate 5 different accounts in the same banks; what information are contained in the signature mandate cards of the companies; and the sources of monies in the accounts?

“CSNAC is therefore by this petition demanding a thorough investigation into the assertions made in the said affidavit as well as subsequent prosecution of Dame Patience Jonathan, the bank manager, Mr. Dipo Oshodi and Dudafa.

“This will go a long way in stemming the tide of corruption in Nigeria, as well as, contribute immensely to the war against corruption embarked upon by the present administration. More importantly, it will also show that Nigerian law is supreme and respecter of nobody, irrespective of status,” CSNAC said.

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