“The team seeks approval to forfeit the said funds in the account to the Federal Government under forfeiture without conviction.”
Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The duo of former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan and her business woman friend, Hajia Bola Shagaya, will forfeit the sum of N1,212,000.999 and another N1,902,673,399.93 totaling N3,305,150,000 the Federal Government’s coffers, Saturday Sun can authoritatively report.
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Of the sum, N1,902,673,399.93 is said to be domiciled in Shagaya’s Unity Bank account numbers: 0003261118; 0025111493; and 0025092589.
The move for the forfeiture of the amount to the Federal Government began on Thursday, December 29, 2016, when the government instituted suit number FHC/L/OS/1973/16 for interim attachment against Shagaya at the Federal High Court, Lagos, before Justice Muslim Hassan and the subsequent order granted by the judge.
Counsel to the Federal Government, Idris Abdullahi Mohammed, filed the application after a sworn affidavit by one Patrick Ugama, an investigating officer with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Shagaya had on October 23, 2017, at the Federal High Court, Lagos Division, filed an originating summons dated October 20, 2017, urging the court to set aside the suit instituted by the government on the grounds that it violated her constitutional rights to fair hearing and ownership of property.
But the Federal Government opposed Shagaya’s move in a counter affidavit filed on December 11, 2017, and deposed to by one Musbahu Yahaya Abubakar, an investigating officer of the special taskforce of the EFCC.
The amount under investigation formed part of onward transfer made by Shagaya into the Diamond Bank account of Women for Change and Development Initiative Nigeria, a non governmental organization of the immediate past first lady which the EFCC believed was used as a front, including transfers made from Shagaya’s Ecobank and Guaranty Trust Bank accounts that received and transferred funds to some persons.
Shagaya was alleged to have through suspicious business deals in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), influenced the fraudulent allocation of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) to Index Petrolube Africa Limited with the aid of Mrs Jonathan.
Giving insight into the effort to forfeit the funds to the Federal Government, a top official of the anti-graft agency revealed that the transactions were uncovered after a team of EFCC detectives investigated the activities of Shagaya and Jonathan in relation to the allocation of DPK in the NNPC through which the N3,305,150,000 proceeds were traced to Shagaya.
The investigation further revealed that Shagaya made payments totaling N1,212,000,999 through proxy to Mrs Jonathan and retained the sum of N2,093,150.000.
“Investigation further revealed that parts of the funds amounting to N1,902,673,399.93 was warehoused in her account domiciled in Unity Bank. The team via suit No: FHC/L/OS/1973/16 obtained an order attaching the sum of N1,902,673,399.93 warehoused in the account of the Bank,” the official said.
It was learnt that Shagaya subsequently via suit number FHC/L/CS/1004/2017, approached the court seeking an order of court to set aside the interim attachment order in suit number FHC/L/OS/1973/16 which the judge dismissed on the ground of lack of merit. Having failed to upturn the attachment order, the Commission has now begun moves for a final forfeiture of the funds to government.
“From the foregoing, the team seeks approval to forfeit the said funds in the account to the Federal Government under forfeiture without conviction”, the source added.