Former First Lady, Patience Jonathan may be facing another round of scrutiny as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is currently investigating how $175,750,000 deposited in an account linked to her was withdrawn without trace.
The money was reportedly deposited in the account of Pluto Property and Investment Limited with Skye Bank.
Mrs Jonathan has been in the eye of the storm over the $15.5million found in the accounts of four companies. The funds in the account were placed under a no debit order by the EFCC.
The accounts were allegedly opened on her behalf by a former presidential aide, Warimopawei Dudafa, who has remained in EFCC detention and has raised the alarm that the agency was trying to force him to implicate Mrs Jonathan.
The former First Lady however came out to claim the money, saying it belongs to her. This development had put her on the spot, even as she sued the anti-graft agency, claiming damages for placing an embargo on her money.
The four companies involved, Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development & Investment Co. Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, were convicted by Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court, Lagos, after they pleaded guilty to the charges brought against them.
In the latest development, sources at the EFCC, revealed that the money was deposited in four tranches between February 4, 2014 and April 1, 2015 by Toru Wonyeng Ibuomo and Friday Davies who are currently wanted by the EFCC.
The agency is seeking to establish the source of the money believed to be a classic case of money laundering, and how the cash withdrawal was without trace and where it was diverted to.
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Giving an insight on how the deposits were made, a source at the EFCC said: “All the deposits were in cash, a development which showed that it was a pure case of money laundering.
“On the 21st of February, the account was reported to have recorded a cash deposit of $46,500,000 by the General Manager of Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited , Toru Wonyeng Ibuomo.
“Three days after (24th of February, 2014), another cash deposit of $31,000,000 was made by the same General Manager.
“Friday Davies made a cash deposit of $49,250,000 into the same account. The last tranche of $49,000,000 was deposited by Davies on Apri 1, 2015.”
Speaking further, the source said the EFCC was already on the trail of the two depositors, as they are needed to assist in the investigation into the payments they made into the account.
“It is more curious when the bank details did not show evidence of withdrawals. Yet the whereabouts of the cash was unknown. We hope it is not a private banking arrangement to hide slush funds”, the source said.
By Timothy Enietan -Matthews….
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