Was Patience’s $31.4m Declared By Jonathan – Lawyer Queries Ccb
BEVERLY HILLS, October 2, (THEWILL) – An Abuja-based lawyer, Barrister Osuagwu Ugochukwu, has filed an application at the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to establish whether former President Goodluck Jonathan declared the $22.3million linked to his wife as required by law at the end of his tenure in 2015.
Ugochukwu in a letter, dated September 1 , to the Chairman of CCB, Mr. Sam Saba, also sought to know if the former first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan declared her assets upon exit as permanent secretary in Bayelsa State.
He declared that 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.
“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',” he wrote.
“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 levelled 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?”
THEWILL recalls that Patience was implicated by a special investigation team of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over ownership of the money and placed restriction on the accounts in Skye Bank.
However, Patience has claimed that the money rightfully belongs to her and was meant for her medical treatment and has approached the court to have the restriction lifted.
Story by David Oputah