The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has frozen over
N8, 627,458,773.36 billion in three accounts of Hajiya Bola Shagaya.
This, sources revealed, is due to the fact that the businesswoman is
an associate and friend of a former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan.
Dame Jonathan refers Shagaya, who Forbes Magazine described as one of
the wealthiest in Africa, as her sister and there seems to be a bond
between them. While in Aso Rock, she always attended any function,
private or public, with the First Lady.
For Bola Shagaya, the billionaire businesswoman, who owns one of the
largest posh estates in Abuja, she was said to have been close to the
Jonathans while they were still occupying the Vice President lounge.
But Shagaya, who did not hold any public appointment during the
administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, has dragged Unity Bank
to the High Court of Lagos State for allowing the EFCC to Post No Debit
(PND) on her accounts without a valid court order.
She says the action taken on her accounts violates Section34 (1) of
the EFCC Act, 2004. Besides, the withdrawal ban placed on one of her
accounts has prevented her from defraying a N514, 800,000 debt incurred
as cumulative costs in the course of an Aircraft Lease Agreement of a
However, Unity Bank says its hands are tied by the law in complying
with the EFCC’s directives to freeze Shagaya’s accounts. Hearing of the
matter is slated for September 28, 2017.
Shagaya lamented on the effects of this action by EFCC on her business and family:
Shagaya and Dame Jonathan
She said, “Since the unlawful freezing of my account by the Defendant, I
have not been able to transact with that account due to my inability to
access same thereby causing business losses and opportunities.
“By reason the Defendant’s action, I have suffered loss of reputation
and damages and my person brought to disrepute, public opprobrium, and
“The actions of the Defendant which consist in unlawfully freezing my
account without an Order of a Court of competent jurisdiction and
failing to disclose same to me promptly was unreasonable as well as
defamatory of me before my business associates who now see me as a
criminal and an untrustworthy fellow who is in the habit of issuing dude
cheques and payment instructions that she knew would not be honoured.”
She said she had lost a lot of business goodwill since her accounts were frozen.
However, in 2016, a source at the EFCC during its trial of Dame
Patience Jonathan told PUNCH why Bola Shagaya’s accounts were frozen.
The source said, “When we were investigating Patience and looking
into her accounts, we discovered that Bola Shagaya had been making huge
and regular payments into her (Patience’s) bank account.
“We then discovered that the monies were kickbacks. The Ministry of
Trade and Investment gave suspicious commission to Shagaya’s company on
every crude oil sent abroad. The commission was put in an account for
Bola Shagaya. The money will then go to Patience’s account. So we
started investigating her.
“We were able to trace the N500m to her account at Unity Bank. So, we placed a ‘No Debit Order’ on the account.”
Additional reports: PUNCH; The Nation