CCB Gets Fresh Request On Ex-First Lady Patience’s Seized $22.3m Cash

former-first-lady-patience-jonathanThere seems to be no respite in sight for former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan as an Abuja-based lawyer, Barrister Osuagwu Ugochukwu, has filed an application with the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to establish whether she declared the $22.3million seized from her as required by law at the exit of her husband, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) placed restriction on the funds which are domiciled in accounts with Skye Bank.

The former first lady is in court to have the restriction on the bank accounts, lifted.

Mr. Ugochukwu, who is lead partner at Victory and Rose Associates, filed the application challenging the CCB to come clean on whether ex-President Goodluck Jonathan declared the money to which his wife is now laying claims to, in his exit form in 2015.

In a September 1 letter to the Chairman of CCB, Mr. Sam Saba, the legal practitioner said he was acting in the interest of the public and in the exercise of his rights pursuant to Sections 1 and 4 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.

The letter reads in part: “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 Vice, 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 Goodluck Jonathan declared or completed his Exit Asset Declaration forms with the CCB.

“Only recently, as reported by Vanguard newspapers, former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, wrote a letter to the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) explicating that the $31.4 million connected to the financial fraud leveled against Mr. Waripamo Dudafa by EFCC was for the payment of the medical bills she incurred in London in 2013.

“Patience Jonathan claimed ownership of the $31.4 million in the affidavit before a Federal High Court in Lagos September 2016.

“The former first lady in her letter to the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu by her lawyers, Granville Abibo (SAN) and Co enjoined the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Skye Bank to lift the restriction placed on the accounts.

“In the letter, Patience Jonathan admitted that the she is the sole signatory to the accounts and the accounts were card-based.

“We note also that First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan was Permanent Secretary in the Bayelsa State Civil Service. Governor Dickson had in July 2012, five months after his inauguration appointed Patience Jonathan, as one of the 17 new permanent secretaries in the state civil service.

“The question that agitates me are: Whether this $31.5 million or $20 Million as being claimed by ex-President Jonathan’s wife was declared in May 2015 in President Jonathan Exit forms with the CCB?

“Kindly avail me whether ex-President Jonathan did file his Asset Declaration Form with the Bureau upon exit from office in May 2015?

“Did Dame Patience Jonathan declare her assets upon exit upon appointment as permanent secretary in Bayelsa State and upon her exit from same position?”