Money Laundering Charges: Patience Jonathan wants out-of-court settlement with EFCC

FORMER First Lady, Patience Jonathan, appears to be tired of fighting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in court and has asked for an out-of-court settlement.

In a January 30, 2018 letter, titled “Proposal for out-of-Court Settlement of all cases related to Dame (Mrs.) Ibifaka Patience Jonathan,” Mr. Jonathan told the EFCC of her intention to settle the matter, the News Agency of Nigeria reported Tuesday.

The letter, which was written by her counsel, Ifedayo Adedipe, is being considered by the EFCC.

The letter said: “As senior counsel, representing Dame (Mrs.) Patience Jonathan (former First Lady) and companies linked to her and some family members, associates, companies and NGOs, we have thought it fit to engage your commission in a discussion over all issues involving her and the commission with a view to having amicable resolution of all cases as stated above.

“This will enable both sides create an atmosphere for mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence. We will therefore appreciate it, if you can give us an appointment at your earliest convenience to have a discussion over all matters involving her and members of her family.

“We believe that an amicable settlement will be in the best interest of both your commission and our client.

“We assure you of our utmost commitment and sincerity of purpose in this connection, and we solicit your cooperation in this regard. Please, accept the assurances of our warm regards.”

The news agency, NAN, said the letter came as EFCC stumbled on more startling information on how Mrs. Jonathan piled up dollar deposits in Skye and First banks, including how she lavished part of the money.

The former first lady has been linked by investigators to huge amount of bank deposits and several choice properties across the country.

According to NAN, assets linked to Mrs. Jonathan in Port Harcourt are:

Former Customs Service officers mess; two duplexes at 2/3 Bauchi Street; landed property with blocks at Ambowei Street; 3 Luxury apartments of 4-bedroom each at Ambowei Street; and Grand View Hotel along airport road.

In Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, are two marble duplexes at Otioko GRA by Isaac Boro Expressway; Glass House along Sani Abacha Expressway which is housing Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board; Akemfa Etie Plaza by AP filling Station, Melford Okilo Road; and Aridolf Resort, Wellness and Spa on Sani Abacha Expressway.

On Monday, a Lagos Division of the Federal High Court adjourned till February 14 to hear a motion in a suit seeking forfeiture of funds linked to the former first lady.

The EFCC had begun fresh moves to seize the funds, including $6.4 million and N7.4 billion, in 15 bank accounts linked to Mrs. Jonathan.

The suit, which was fixed for hearing on Monday, was stalled following the absence of the judge, Mojisola Olatoregun, who was said to be attending a workshop.

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