Patience Jonathan, wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan has dismissed an allegation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that she used her foundation, Aruera Reachout Foundation to launder stolen funds.

Background:

  • The anti-corruption agency had frozen 15 accounts belonging to the former first lady, stating that the funds were proceeds of corruption.
  • Mrs Jonathan had filed a N2bn fundamental human rights suit against the EFCC, accusing the anti-graft agency of subjecting her to psychological trauma and freezing her late mother’s account.
  • The EFCC had also said it uncovered N2.1bn from an account belonging to the former first lady and her late mother.

What she said:

In a statement by her Chief Press Secretary, Belema Meshack-Hart, on Thursday, Mrs Jonathan said;

  • Her foundation “is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation established in 2006.”
  • The foundation has spent over N3.5bn for the treatment of 700 children and adults with heart-related ailments.

She said, “Till date, over 700 children have benefited from the Aruera Reachout Foundation, this alone cost the foundation billions, it is not news that the logistics involved in the treatment of heart disease cost over N5m per child.

“This demonstrates the caring and maternal nature of Nigeria’s former first lady. God has used her as an instrument to positively touch the lives of some of our nation’s sick children, to make them healthy and happy through the appropriate medical intervention, it is now strange and sad that the EFCC will allege that such foundation only existed to launder funds.

“The many sick children that would have died but now live a happy life will stand as testament against the baseless propaganda and shameless allegation of the EFCC. It is worthy of note that the foundation which is duly registered by the CAC is free to receive donations from reputable individuals and organisations for its projects just like any other NGO.”

  • The former first lady also berated the EFCC for saying it had traced N2.1bn to Magel Resort Ltd., a hotel owned by her late mum, Mama Charity Oba.
  • She urged the EFCC to let her late mother rest in peace.

Patience added, “The former first lady had no dealings with the hotel until the demise of her late mum after which the hotel was handed over to her with the presentation of the death certificate of her mum.

“This can be confirmed by Zenith Bank. Mrs. Patience Jonathan does not own Magel Resort Ltd. neither did she open the hotels account with Zenith Bank. The late mother of the former first lady should be allowed to rest in peace.”

Y naija