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Patience Jonathan tells how she made the $15m in the several bank accounts linked to her

Dame Patience Jonathan, wife of former Nigerian President Goodluck
Jonathan, has explained in graphic details how she accumulated in 15
years  $15million in several bank accounts linked to her by the Economic
and Financial Crimes Commission.
The explanation was given in court papers  filed by a group that has
sued  Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)  on her
behalf.

SERAP had filed a suit in court to compel the attorney-general of the Federation to take a legal action against Mrs. Jonathan.
Union of Niger Delta Youth Organisation for Equity, Justice and Good
Governance suing for themselves and on behalf of Mrs Dame Patience
Jonathan filed a suit number FHC/L/CS/1349/2016 before a Federal High
Court in Lagos,  alleging  “campaign of calumny  by SERAP against her.

The funds in question were legitimate gifts from her friends and
well-wishers over the last 15 years which she had been saving in order
to utilise to upgrade family businesses and concerns which had been
somewhat dormant by reason of the long period of her husband service as a
public officer in Nigeria.”
“The gifts were given in small contributions by several persons some of
whom she cannot even now recall over this period of 15 years sometimes
in as small a gift as N250,000. In order to preserve the value of these
funds which she did not require for any purpose at the time she changed
them into foreign exchange and kept them as cash for a long period in
her home safe in Port Harcourt and Abuja.”

“It was when the family home in Otuoke was burnt down by hoodlums under
the instigation of political adversaries in 2010 that she began to think
about banking these gifts which had now grown to large sums in United
States Dollars. In 2010 she therefore summoned one of her husband’s
domestic aides, Waripamo-Owei Emmanuel Dudafa to assist her in opening
bank accounts into which the funds could be deposited.”

“Unknown to her the said Dudafa in a bid to be discreet about the owner
of the funds decided to bank the funds in the names of companies owned
by him. When she discovered this she was constrained to continue with
the names of the companies when she was advised that it did not make any
difference as to the ownership of the funds since the director of the
company would appoint her as sole signatory to the accounts in
question.”
“When in 2016 Dudafa was arrested and detained she had no fear for the
funds as she realised that the funds could not be attributable to him
once it was discovered that she was the sole signatory to the said
accounts. It was therefore a rude shock to her when she discovered that a
no transaction order had been placed on the accounts by the EFCC in the
belief that the funds belonged to Dudafa.”

“She instructed her solicitors to further write to the EFCC to inform
them that the funds belong to her and that they formed a part of her
legitimate earnings over the last 15 years. It was this letter that was
leaked by the EFCC to the media that became sensationalised and led to
the plaintiff’s vilification and attack by ignorant persons who had no
information about the matter.”
“SERAP is playing to the public gallery in order to gain the notoriety
it has achieved over the past years. SERAP has done this mostly by
intervening in high profile issues without regard to the rights of
persons it claims to protect. SERAP jumped into the fray of ignorant
accusations being made against Mrs Dame Patience Jonathan in the public
media and has begun a campaign of calumny against her using online,
print and electronic media to publish to the public unfounded and
malicious allegations that she stole the funds in question and ought to
be prosecuted.”

The suit accuses SERAP  of  using online, print and electronic media to
publish to the public unfounded and malicious allegations that she stole
$15m (US) and ought to be prosecuted.
SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni said the organisation
received Patience Jonathan’s  court papers dated 6th October 2016 from a
bailiff on Tuesday.
Mumuni said, 

“SERAP categorically rejects these misleading and entirely unfounded
accusations against us by Mrs Patience Jonathan and her group, and we
will vigorously oppose the suit in court. SERAP will never, in the
discharge of its mandates, succumb to any intimidation, harassment and
attacks in any way, shape or form. We are now consulting with our
lawyers and will be preparing shortly our defence in court.”
“At no time did SERAP suggest or even hint that Mrs Jonathan was guilty
of the allegations against her. On the contrary, what SERAP has said is
that the fact that the $15m 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 an obligation
on Mrs Jonathan to explain and justify the source(s) of the $15m.”

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