A self-professed solicitor to Dame Patience Jonathan, Mr. Charles Ogboli, says the $20m found in the five accounts traced to Patience could have been given to her by her husband, former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He said this on Friday during a breakfast television show titled, ‘Sunrise Daily’ on Channels Television.
Ogboli, who contested for the Delta State governorship election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2014, said Patience had told him about all that transpired, adding that her case was nothing but a witch-hunt.
When asked where Patience could have got the money from, the lawyer said $20m (N8bn) was not too much for a woman whose husband served as a deputy governor, governor, Vice-President and President within a period of 16 years.
Ogboli confirmed an exclusive story by The PUNCH that Patience’s personal account, with a balance of about $5m, which is domiciled in Skye Bank, had been frozen.
He said, “They have gone ahead to put a no debit order on her personal account which is unfair. My question is this: Being a former first lady and being a woman whose husband was the deputy governor of Bayelsa State, thereafter governor, thereafter Vice-President then President, are you now telling me, if we want to go through the figures her husband received in salaries, estacodes and allowances received in all these years, her husband would not be able to give his wife money, even if it is $20m? If we want to fight, let us fight justly.”
Ogboli, who initially claimed to be a human rights activist before later confessing to be an aide to Patience, told the Channels TV presenters that Patience had sometimes in 2013, instructed the then Special Adviser to the President on Domestic Affairs, Waripamowei Dudafa, to open domiciliary accounts for herself and her late mother.
He said Patience was, however, surprised to find out that one account was opened in her name at Skye Bank while four company accounts were opened.
He added that platinum cards were given to Patience with which to make withdrawals.
Ogboli said Patience had instructed Dudafa and the bank to correct the error but they refused to do so for over two years until the accounts were finally frozen by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The lawyer said, “Her personal name was on first card while the other two cards had her mother’s name. Her mother used two of the accounts for business. The fact is that the names on the cards were supposed to be the names of her mother and herself.”
Ogboli, however, distanced Patience from the threats by a militant group to bomb the NNPC Towers if the restriction on Patience’s account was not lifted.
Meanwhile, the Civil Liberties Organisation has distanced itself from a protest held in Port Harcourt in support of Patience Jonathan, saying the protesters who stormed the Port Harcourt office of the EFCC were not members of CLO.
The CLO said in a statement by its President, Uche Durueke, that it would take steps to unravel those behind the embarrassment and impersonation.
“I hereby assure the bona fide members of the organisation and the public that CLO will not condescend so low to embark on such an infantile protest,” the statement read in part.