The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has thrown its weight behind the ‘freezing’ of a suspicious Unity bank account, belonging to Hajiya Bola Shagaya, a society lady and business woman, containing N1.9bn (One Billion, Nine Hundred Million Naira), believed to have been proceeds of illicit financial dealings between her and the former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan.
In a release issued by the Coordinator, Media and Publications of the anti-corruption organization, Adegboyega Otunuga, the Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, noted, “It is a known fact that, for the anti-corruption drive of this administration to yield any tangible result, the various agencies responsible for routing out this scourge from our society need to devise various legitimate means as perpetrators of official heist get more daring in their acts. “Despite all the efforts made by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to get this woman, who we believe has been fronting and using her social influence to launder illicit funds for the first lady, to come in for questioning and clarifications on the humongous funds in her accounts, she remains elusive and uncooperative.
“Consequently, the EFCC was left with no other option than to approach an appropriate court for an order to temporarily set aside this same account, thus preventing her from making withdrawals or any other transactions on same until investigations are fully concluded; an action that is fully in line with the anti-corruption agency’s powers. It was not just that this order was lawfully obtained by the EFCC before they took this necessary step of getting the account frozen, the EFCC further explained that this about N2bn (Two Billion Naira) that was eventually frozen, was just part of over N3bn (Three Billion Naira) Mrs. Shagaya received as ‘founder fees’ from ‘Women for Change’, an organization that was being spearheaded by Mrs. Patience Jonathan. They went further to explain how the over N3bn was realized through Shagaya’s ‘fraudulent activities in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation- NNPC’ where she allegedly ‘fraudulently influenced the allocation of Dual purpose kerosene to Index Petrolube Africa Limited, with the aid of Mrs. Patience Jonathan.
“Also, the EFCC claimed to the court that out of the N3.3bn (Three Billion, Three Hundred Million Naira), Shagaya had paid N1,2bn (One Billion, Two Hundred Million Naira) to Patience Jonathan through her, ‘Women for Change Initiative’ account, domiciled in Diamond Bank account, while she kept the balance of nearly N2bn (Two Billion Naira) to herself, ‘warehousing’ same in her personal account with Unity Bank, and doing everything possible to frustrate investigations and explanations on how she came about the illicit funds, legitimately.”
The CACOL Boss added, “This is just one of many high-profile cases of numerous and mind-boggling looting of our commonwealth that were perpetrated under the last regime. And while we agree that corruption may not have been fully extirpated within our body polity, the facts remain that this government under Muhammadu Buhari,’s presidency, has done many things humanly possible, to discourage impunity and open looting of the treasury.
“It is in this light that CACOL as an anti-corruption coalition has thrown its full weight behind the administration’s quest and resolve to minimize, even if it cannot exterminate the bogey of corruption, which we all perceive to be the country’s singular albatross to realizing its full potentials.” The statement said.