FG Asks EFCC To Forward Cases On Patience Jonathan
The Federal Government has asked the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mohammed Umar Abba, to make available details of all cases concerning former first lady, Patience Jonathan.
A presidency source revealed that Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, gave the directive and extended it to include relatives of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to the source, the directive may be ominous but Dayo Apata, the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, has communicated the government’s position to the EFCC.
The source told Daily Independent that the EFCC is expected to give a comprehensive update of investigation into cases involving Patience Jonathan and relations of the former president, the status of the trial of all the cases, the status of recovered funds, and other assets involved in the cases.
The source also said even if there are other charges to be filed against Patience Jonathan and the former president’s relations as well as funds or assets still being targeted, that all would be sent to the Federal Government by the EFCC.
According to the source, the Federal Government is desirous this year to ensure the diligent and timely prosecution of all corruption cases, saying this would be part of that effort.
Another presidency source, who spoke with Daily Independent on Sunday, said this move may be intended to rubbish Goodluck Jonathan, who even though lately had been hobnobbing with President Muhammadu Buhari, is said to be nursing a presidential ambition in 2023.
There have been speculations that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is considering fielding Jonathan in the 2023 presidential election to serve a single term.
He has served a term as president on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The source said following his private meeting with some APC governors in Abuja, some people in the presidency are not happy over the development.
This may be their way of getting their pound of flesh and scuttling any future arrangement that may favour Jonathan in 2023, the source noted.
Mala Buni, governor of Yobe State and acting chairperson of the APC, led some APC governors to Jonathan’s residence.
The meeting followed the defection of Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, to the APC from the PDP.
That meeting led to disagreements between the APC and the PDP with the latter accusing the ruling party of abandoning governance to woo Jonathan for the 2023 presidency.
It would be recalled that on July 1, 2019, the Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the final forfeiture of N9.2 billion and $8.4 million belonging to Patience Jonathan.
The EFCC had, through its counsel Rotimi Oyedepo, in October 2018, moved a motion before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun for the final forfeiture of the funds said to belong to the former first lady.
According to Justice Olatoregun, there was not enough cause in the affidavits filed before the court to show that the sums should not be classified as proceeds of unlawful activities.
Justice Olatoregun ordered the forfeiture of the sums totalling N9.2 billion and $8.4 million to the Federal Government.