The Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, has said that it freezes the accounts of a business woman, Mrs Bola Shagaya due to intelligence report that she was using them to launder billions of Naira for former first Lady, Mrs Dame Patience Jonathan.
The anti-graft agency stated this in its counter affidavit to a motion filed by Hajiya Bola Shagaya before the Federal High Court, Lagos challenging the freezing of her account by the commission.
It would be recalled that Bola Shagaya, in a suit filed before the court is urging the court to set aside the order of the court freezing her bank accounts in Unity Bank Plc.
In the affidavit filed and sworn to by a litigation officer, Sulaiman Ali and filed before the court by a Lagos lawyer Mr Napoleon Emeaso-Nwachukwu, the deponent averred that sometimes in the month of October and November 2016, Hajiya Bola Shagaya issued several payment instructions to her bank, Unity Bank Plc in respect of third party transactions, but to the applicant chagrin, the said payment instructions were declined by her bank in spite of the fact that the applicant (Bola Shagaya) had enough money standing to her credit with her bank to cover the payment instructions prior to issuing the instructions.
The deponent said that upon enquiry, the bank intimated Shagaya that it received a letter from EFCC directing it to place a Post No Debit on her account with it.
Consequent upon the development, the applicant said it instituted a suit at the High court of Lagos State against Unity Bank Plc, but that in its defence, the bank annexed a copy of a court order to the court process it filed to justify its refusal to honour the numerous payments instructions issued by the applicant.
The applicant, in its motion, averred further that the ex-parte order of the court attaching her property made pending the determination of an investigation and possible prosecution is devoid of a definite time frame and capable of lasting in perpetuity.
She further stated that there is no criminal suit pending against her in any court of law anywhere prior to, or after the ex- parte order now sought to be set aside was made.
Consequently, the applicant said it would be the interest of Justice for the court to set aside the order.
However, in a counter affidavit sworn to by an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC , Mr Musbahu Yahaya Abubakar, and filed before the court by EFCC legal officer Barrister Idris Abdullahi Mohammed, the deponent averred that EFCC received a cogent, direct and positive intelligence of a case of conspiracy, unlawful enrichment and money laundering against the applicant, that she was making suspicious deposits into the accounts subject matter of investigation.
”The fund of the unlawful activities were paid into a front organisation account called “WOMEN FOR CHANGE INITIATIVE”for the benefit of the former first lady Mrs Dame Patience Jonathan. ”
It was also stated that the applicant through her alleged fraudulent activities in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, influenced the fraudulent allocation of Dual Purpose Kerosene DPK to Index Petrolube Africa Limited with the aid of the former first lady.
As a result of these fraudulent activities, the applicant was paid “FOUNDER FEES” In the total sum of N3,305,150,000 by Indexo Petrolube Africa Limited and its sister company, Autodex Nigeria Limited both owned by Hon.Ezeani ThankGod for the fraudulent facilitation of Dual Purpose Kerosene DPK to his company, Index Petrolube Africa Limited.
Based on the above, the applicant paid a cumulative sum of N1,212,000,000 billion to the former first lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan through her account ”Women for Change Initiative” account domiciled with First Bank, Ecobank and Diamond bank in which the former first lady was sole signatory.
The sum of N1, 902, 673, 399.93 billion, remaining balance from the aforementioned proceeds of the unlawful activities, was warehoused in the personal accounts of the applicant domiciled in Unity Bank.
EFCC said that in the cause of its Investigation, it invited Billy Okoye, the Executive Director Commercial of the Nigerian Petroleum Marketing Company NPMC, a subsidiary of NNPC who stated that he do not know anything about the ‘Founder ‘s Fee’ and that he never heard of it until confronted by the EFCC.
It was further averred that whenever Honourable Ezeani ThankGod makes fraudulent deposits into the account of Hajiya Bola Shagaya through his companies, Index Petrolube Africa Limited and Autodex Nigeria Limited, Hajiya Shagaya will thereafter transfer particular sum to the account of the former first lady using the account of women for change initiatives in Diamond bank , First Bank and Ecobank Limited .
The applicant was alleged to have been using three accounts numbers, 0003261118, 0025111493, 0025092589, domiciled in Unity Bank Plc respectively to warehouse and harbors the suspected proceeds of the alleged crime
The anti-graft agency said In view of the above, it applied to the court for ex -parte order of interim attachment before a Federal High Court, Lagos, and the presiding Judge in his wisdom after hearing the respondent application and reading the originating summons granted an interim order on the 29th of December, 2016 against the applicant accounts domiciled with Unity Bank plc pending the conclusion of the investigation and possible prosecution.
The Commission further revealed that the funds transfered to Mrs Dame Patience Jonathan are parts of the funds paid to her for facilitating allocation of DPK to Index Petrolube Africa Company.
The commission further avered that the applicant has refused to honour EFCC invitation to enable the anti graft agency to confront her with its findings of investigation.
Consequently, EFCC urged the court to refuse Shagaya’s application and dismiss same as the application is not only frivolous, but an abuse of court process, and time wasting.
After the adoption of the written addresses of the two parties, the presiding judge, Oluremi Oguntoyinbo adjourned till May 17, for judgement.
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