Dame Patience Jonathan, the wife of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, said the $15m in her accounts was for settling medical bills while she was out of the country.
This was contained in a letter with reference number GA/Abibo/00226/2016, written by her lawyers, Granville Abibo (SAN) and Co, which was addressed to the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, according to Punch.
The letter read in part, “It is noteworthy to emphasise that the said accounts, which were in US dollar denomination, were card-based accounts and our client is the sole signatory to these accounts.
“However, our client has been operating the said accounts using the cards for her medical bill payments and purchases for her private purposes without any let or hindrance.
“Our client was therefore surprised when the said cards stop functioning on July 7, 2016, or thereabout. Our client immediately, thereupon, contacted Skye Bank Plc through our solicitors.
‘‘It was only then that the bank officials informed our client that the said accounts were placed on a ‘No Debit Order’ following investigations and instruction from your commission and this is without notice to our client by either the bank or the commission.
“It is in the light of the foregoing that we urge you to use your good offices to vacate the ‘No Debit/Freezing Order’ placed on the said accounts.”
While describing herself as a law-abiding citizen, she urged the EFCC chief to intervene as the detectives in charge have refused to grant her plea that the accounts be unfrozen.
A detective at the EFCC, however said, “We got a relevant court order to freeze those accounts and we have evidence which we will present in court on Friday.
“She has a separate account in Skye Bank with the title ‘Patience Jonathan’, which has a balance of $5m. If she claims she needs money for medical treatment, then the $5m should be alright.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the Federal Government is not persecuting Jonathan and his wife, Patience.
“It is not as if anybody has gone out to probe Mrs. Jonathan directly or indirectly. Rather Mrs. Jonathan was the one that said ‘that money for which you are accusing Mr. X actually belongs to me. So, you cannot start talking of prosecution or persecution,” he said.
In a related development, a civil society organisation, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, has said Mrs. Jonathan must explain how she came about the funds with which she reportedly built the N10bn Aridolf Resort Wellness and Spa in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, seeing as she was just a civil servant at the time.