Reps resume probe of Patience Jonathan’s accounts

by | October 3, 2017 7:30 pm

Investigate public hearing into the alleged harassment of former First Lady, Patience Jonathan will continue on Wednesday, 4th October, 2017.

BusinessDay gathered that officials of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the first time acknowledged the receipt of the invitation sent by House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Petitions.

One of the lawmakers who confirmed Commission’s response, said: “we were surprised when they acknowledged receipt of our last letter summoning them to appear today.

“In the immediate past, they (EFCC) treat us with disdain as if the National Assembly had no power to summon their all powerful officials.”

Recall that the Committee chaired by Uzoma Nkem-Abonta (PDP-Abia) had penultimate week, directed all the companies operating in the country to immediately pay up all the outstanding tax owed Federal Government.

The resolution was passed by the Committee, during the investigation into the tax evasion allegation leveled against Aridolf Jo Resort Wellness and Spa Limited, owned by the former First Lady, Patience Jonathan by Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

While Federal Inland Revenue Service alleged that the company owed the sum of N10,117,500 tax including VAT between 2014 and 2016, the petitioner argued that the company had paid all its taxes in line with extant laws.

According to the documents submitted to the Committee, the company paid the sums of N38,700 and N43,330 were paid as tax on the 4th October 2016 and 30th August 2016 respectively, as contained in the FIRS receipts.

Sequel to the investigation initiated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) leveled against the former First Lady, some accounts linked with the Patience Jonathan were frozen including $15 million domiciled in Skye Bank, on the directive of the Commission.

Joined in the suit are: Managing Directors of Ecobank, Diamond, Union Bank and Fidelity Bank as well as FIRS.

However, the lawmakers directed all the affected banks to unfreeze all the accounts not directly involved in the ongoing investigation initiated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The resolution was passed during the investigative public hearing held at the instance of House Committee on Public Petitions, into the alleged ‘persisstent, consistent and unwarranted personal attacks and harassment by operatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), National Drugs and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).