Fraud: EFCC gathers fresh evidence against Patience Jonathan

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Fraud: EFCC gathers fresh evidence against Patience Jonathan

Fraud: EFCC gathers fresh evidence against Patience Jonathan
January 03
06:36 2017

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has gathered more evidence against Esther Oba, an alleged front and cousin of Dame Patience Jonathan, the wife of the immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan.

The anti-graft commission recently commenced an investigation against Oba who was identified as one of the owners of the N9 billion account believed to actually belong to Mrs Jonathan.

Quoting an unnamed source, the Punch reports that Oba has been on the EFCC watch list for possessing two valid Nigerian passports which bear two different signatures.

A source in the EFCC said, “After we froze Patience Jonathan’s accounts a few months ago, we continued to investigate the former First Lady. We then stumbled on some accounts, which did not bear her name but had her signature.

“We realised that one Esther Oba, who we believe is Patience’s cousin, had been operating some accounts for her. The accounts had Oba’s BVN but carried Patience’s signature. So we began investigating Oba.

“We found out that Oba used two different passports in operating some of the accounts. The two passports are valid but carry different signatures. We immediately wrote a letter to the Nigeria Immigration Service to seek clarification.

“Immigration confirmed that the two passports are indeed valid. They bear the same name, picture and details but different signatures. So, they have also launched an investigation into the matter. Obviously, this is a case of fraud.”

But attempts by the EFCC to locate Oba has proved futile so far. The source, however, said the commission has hired forensic experts to study the signatures.

He said, “Oba’s signature and that of Patience look exactly alike. But in order to build a solid case, we are hiring some forensic experts to study the signatures and give us a report which we would be able to present in court.”

He added that due to the existence of the Bank Verification Number, it had become difficult for politically-exposed persons to keep huge sums of money in their accounts.

The detective explained that such people opened accounts with other people’s identities but used their own signatures on the accounts so that only “the sponsors” would have access to the accounts.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun-Ishola had recently granted an order freezing the bank accounts allegedly belonging to Patience with over N9bn lodged in them.

Apart from the recently frozen accounts, the EFCC had, in July, frozen four company accounts with a balance of $15m.

Patience had informed a Federal High Court in Lagos that the money in the accounts belonged to her even though the accounts did not carry her name or BVN.

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