Dame Patience Jonathan, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of hiring mercenaries to testify in the case of a controversial $31.4 million traced to an account, which she claimed was her own.
So also did Dame Jonathan say on Thursday that the EFCC was yet to invite her for questioning despite her claim that the money in the account belonged to her.
The EFCC, sequel to the discovery of the money, had charged a former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Jonathan, Waripamo Dudafa, and two others with money laundering.
Four companies were also charged alongside Dudafa and the two others.
The four companies on Thursday pleaded guilty to conspiring with Dudafa and the two others to launder $15,591,700 before a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday.
The companies are: Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited, Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Limited, Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited.
The EFCC had since frozen the $15.6 million found in the four companies’ accounts.
But Dame Jonathan said those who pleaded guilty on behalf of the companies were mercenaries hired by the EFCC.
In a statement on Thursday by her media aide, Chima Osuji, Dame Jonathan accused the EFCC of presenting four persons not authorised by the companies’ boards to plead guilty on their behalf.
She said it was a ploy by the EFCC to ensure that her hard-earn money was confiscated.
The ex-President’s wife argued that the EFCC failed to comply with Section 477 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 by not presenting to the court on Thursday any letter to show that the four persons were authorised by the companies to represent them.
The statement said: “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.”