Following the guilty plea of the four persons representing four companies linked to her, former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan has said that the individuals were not authorised by the companies to represent them, PUNCH reports.
She alleged that the persons are mercenaries hired by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to plead guilty to the money laundering charges brought against them.
The EFCC had frozen the companies’ accounts following investigation into a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo Dudafa, and two others, Amajuoyi Briggs and Adedamola Bolodeoku.
When the case was called on Thursday, the four companies announced their representation as follows: Friday David (Pluto Properties and Investment Company) and Agbor Obaro (Sea Gate Property Development Company). Also, Fredrick Dioghowori announced his representation for Trans Ocean Property Ltd, while Taiwo Ebenezer represented Avalon Global properties Ltd.
Dudafa and the second and third defendants pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them, but the fourth to seventh defendants (the companies) pleaded guilty.
Patience Jonathan, in a statement by her media aide, Chima Osuji, said that the EFCC presented four unknown persons, who were not authorised by the companies’ boards to plead guilty on behalf of the companies.
“This is a clear evidence of the desperation of the prosecution to pull down the former First Lady and confiscate her hard-earned money.
It is an irony that it was the former First Lady who went to court for the repatriation of her confiscated money when she realised that the EFCC and its co-travellers were playing politics with this issue after she had come out publicly to say that the said money belongs to her and that she has all evidence to prove the sources of her money. Up till this very moment, the EFCC has refused to interrogate or invite her for questioning.
The biggest twist in court on Thursday was that the fourth to seventh defendants pleaded guilty to all the 15 counts. It is clear that these unknown faces were agents of the EFCC, who have been stage-managed and tutored to come to court to complicate the case as a strategy to confiscate her money,” the ex-President’s wife’s aide, Osuji, said.