Another whopping sum of $175,750,000 has been reportedly found in an account linked to former First Lady, Patience Jonathan.
According to The Nation, the deposits were found in the account of Pluto Property and Investment Limited. The report added that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has launched a manhunt for two suspects, Toru Wonyeng Ibuomo and Friday Davies, linked to the deposits.
The deposits were reportedly made in four tranches between February 21, 2014 and April 1, 2015.
The EFCC is currently investigating how the money ‘vanished’ from the account without any trace of where it was diverted to.
According to the source:
The EFCC is probing how the deposits hit the company’s account barely two years after it was registered and without executing any major contract. We are suspecting that this is another slush account where government funds were diverted to.
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.
We need the two depositors to assist in the ongoing investigation of the payments into the affected 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 confirmed that the EFCC would probe the likely roles of the former First Lady in operating the account of Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited.
“In a matter before the Federal High Court, the ex-First Lady admitted that one of her domiciliary accounts was bearing Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited. We are investigating this $175.750 million deposits and the extent of the involvement or relationship of the ex-First Lady with the funds. This is a fresh case; it has nothing to do with the $15.5million frozen by the EFCC,” the source said.
Recall that Pluto Property and Investment Limited, alongside three other companies – 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 in Lagos after they pleaded guilty to the money laundering charges against them. Read it here.
Also arraigned were Waripamo Dudafa, a former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan; Amajuoyi Briggs; and a banker, Adedamola Bolodeoku, who all pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
EFCC detectives discovered that the account was opened on November 30, 2013 by Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited.
The company was registered on January 29, 2013 with RC 1092722.
The deposits are: 21/2/2014—$46,500,000; 24/2/2014—$31,000,000; 31/3/2015—$49,250,000; and 1/4/ 2015—$49,000,000.
In the affidavit filed by Patience Jonathan’s lawyer, Sammie Somiari, she claimed that the EFCC placed a ‘No Debit Order’ on the four accounts in July in the course of probing Dudafa.
In the affidavit however, Somiari claimed that it was Dudafa who helped Patience Jonathan open the four bank accounts which the EFCC froze.
Somiari said that Dudafa had on March 22, 2010 brought two Skye Bank officers – Demola Bolodeoku and Dipo Oshodi – to meet the former first lady at home to open five accounts.
He said that out of the five accounts opened, only one was done with the former first lady’s name, while the other four were opened in the names of companies belonging to Dudafa.
“That Mrs Jonathan complained about this to Honourable Dudafa, who at her prompting and instance promised to effect the change of the said accounts to the applicant’s name; and to effect this change, Honourable Dudafa brought the said bank manager, Dipo Oshodi, who claimed to have effected the changes. This was about April 2014.
The bank official, Dipo Oshodi, as it would appear did not effect or reflect the instruction of the applicant to change the said accounts to her name(s) despite repeated requests,” Somairi had said.