Former First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan appears to be tired of fighting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in court and has asked for out-of-court settlement.
In a January 30, 2018 letter, titled “Proposal for out-of-Court Settlement of all cases related to Dame (Mrs.) Ibifaka Patience Jonathan,” she told the EFCC of her intention to settle the matter.
The letter, which was written by her counsel, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), is being considered by the EFCC.
The letter said: “As senior counsel, representing Dame (Mrs.) Patience Jonathan (former First Lady) and companies linked to her and some family members, associates, companies and NGOs, we have thought it fit to engage your commission in a discussion over all issues involving her and the commission with a view to having amicable resolution of all cases as stated above.
“This will enable both sides create an atmosphere for mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence. We will therefore appreciate it, if you can give us an appointment at your earliest convenience to have a discussion over all matters involving her and members of her family.
“We believe that an amicable settlement will be in the best interest of both your commission and our client.
“We assure you of our utmost commitment and sincerity of purpose in this connection, and we solicit your cooperation in this regard. Please, accept the assurances of our warm regards.”
Her letter came as EFCC stumbled on more startling information on how she piled up dollar deposits in Skye and First banks, including how she lavished part of the money.
According to TheNation, she blew thousands of dollars at highbrow stores in various capitals of the world.
The cash came from $11,849,069.03, which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said 31 individuals and companies paid into her two domiciliary accounts.
The accounts, which are Skye Bank (2110001712) and First Bank (2022648664) had “questionable deposits” between 2013 and 2017.
The Skye Bank account had about $7,452,319.32 lodged in it. Detectives found $4,036,750.00 in the second account with First Bank.
The ex-First Lady allegedly spent the cash at TFS stores, Selfridges, John Lewis, Kingsgate, Sainsbury’s, Harrods, Marks and Spencer, Dolce and Gabbana, and Gina.
She went on a shopping spree in expensive outlets in the United States, Britain, Germany, Hong Kong, UAE, Italy and China.
The highest shopping was at Goyard Beijing in Beijing CN on January 28, 2014 where Mrs. Jonathan shelled out $28,388.72.
On the same day at Hulian Xinguang Beijing CN, she blew $13, 069.68 on some luxury items.
An EFCC source told The Nation that it iDVD considering the Former First Lady’s offer if settlement.
“We have received a letter from the ex-First Lady, we are studying it on whether or not to accept the out-of-court settlement or allow justice to take its course.”
Apart from the cash, the ex-First Lady is linked to 12 choice properties and a plot of land on which a building is being built.
The investigative team had recommended that Section 7 of the EFCC Establishment Act 2004 be invoked on the properties after due verification.
The assets linked to Mrs. Jonathan in Port Harcourt are: Former Customs Service officers mess; two duplexes at 2/3 Bauchi Street; landed property with blocks at Ambowei Street; 3 Luxury apartments of 4-bedroom each at Ambowei Street; and Grand View Hotel along airport road.
In Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, are two marble duplexes at Otioko GRA by Isaac Boro Expressway; Glass House along Sani Abacha Expressway which is housing Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board; Akemfa Etie Plaza by AP filling Station, Melford Okilo Road; and Aridolf Resort, Wellness and Spa on Sani Abacha Expressway. (NAN)
Vietnamese President, Tran Dai Quang, dies
Vietnam’s President Tran Dai Quang died Friday at age 61 after a prolonged and serious illness, state media reported.
He passed away from a “serious illness despite devoted treatment by professors and doctors” both in Vietnam and abroad, the official Vietnam News Agency said.
In office as president since April 2016 after more than four decades at the powerful Ministry of Public Security, Quang had a reputation as a tough leader with little tolerance for dissent.
Though he held one of the country’s top four positions and was officially the head of state, his role as president was seen as largely ceremonial, greeting visiting leaders and hosting diplomatic events in a bid to boost Vietnam’s profile on the world stage.
Quang had appeared thin and pale in public, and was unstable on his feet last week when he hosted a welcoming ceremony for Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Hanoi last week.
His last public appearance was just two days ago, at a meeting with visiting Chinese politicians and foreign dignitaries in Hanoi.
Quang, a member of the Politburo, had a reputation as tough and influential in the inner circles of the communist party, though often appeared uncomfortable in the public eye and lacked the charisma of some of his peers in the upper echelons of the party.
In an interview with AFP in 2016 ahead of a visit by the former French leader Francois Hollande, Quang read from a prepared statement and was quickly escorted from the room by staff when a question went off-script.
State media made a sombre announcement of his death Friday and celebrated his long commitment to public service.
His time in office was dominated by a simmering conflict with Beijing over the South China Sea, a long-running dispute between the communist neighbours that escalated on several occasions.
Vietnam cancelled at least one oil drilling project in the resource-rich region during Quang’s tenure in an apparent bid to quell tensions.
He was the administration’s most public face at a series of high-profile events, most notably at an APEC meeting in Danang in November last year where he hosted a bevy of world leaders — including US President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping.
As president, he oversaw a crackdown on dissidents that rights groups have decried as a chokehold on free expression. More than 40 people were jailed this year and some 100 have been behind bars as of April 2018, according to Amnesty International.
Flood victims groan, beg for assistance in Bayelsa
Some affected residents along the Epie Creek in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, have bemoaned their loss and the discomfort caused them by floods that submerged their houses.
Southern City News learnt on Thursday that the impact of flooding caused by the overflow of the waters from Taylor Creek, tributaries of Orashi and Niger rivers, dealt a devastating blow to the residents.
It was also gathered that the water levels rose beyond tolerable limits and thereby wreaked havoc on houses, the environment and properties of some residents.
Due to the development, some residents were said to have temporarily relocated from their homes to seek refuge in other places.
A resident of the Onopa area of the Yenagoa metropolis, Joy Elvis, said the people were helpless as the assistance promised by the state government in its sensitisation messages had yet to materialise.
Elvis said, “It has not been easy; the water levels have been on the increase and it is usually expected at this time of the year, but on Tuesday the flood entered our houses, destroying properties. Since then, we have been under intense pressure. Worse still, some of us have no where to run to.
“We need help badly but no one seems to care. We have resorted to moving some of our valuable items to neighbours’ houses because there are no shelters provided by the government yet.
“Our prayer is that the water go back because if it goes beyond this level, even the Good Samaritans accommodating some of us will be threatened as well.”
Another resident, John Abide, said they had been compelled to use local canoes to access their homes, following the constantly rising water levels in the past few days.
He lamented that a lot of people affected were not reluctant to leave as they did not want to become a burden to their friends.
Abide stated, “So, what most people do is to adapt by making wooden platforms within their houses where important things are kept.
“Those who have canoes have put them to use when they needed to go out. We are predominantly people who go to the river regularly to fish; so, we are not so afraid of water.”
Yet another resident, who gave his name only as Preye, said the recent flood had left a sour tale in the mouths of many residents of the area.
She appealed to the government and public-spirited individuals to come to their rescue in order to give them a new lease of life.
“We know what happened to us is a natural disaster but we are appealing for help. We know that government’s intervention will go a long way in ameliorating our predicament, “ he stated.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Government has said it is determined to ensure that no life is lost in the flood that is currently ravaging the state.
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, had, while giving an update of the situation, assured the residents that with the proactive steps the government had taken, there was no cause for alarm.
Rotimi Amaechi gets another appointment from Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi as the Secretary/Director General of his campaign team.
This was contained in a statement signed by Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, on Thursday.
A terse statement said Amaechi will subsequently appoint other members of the Buhari-Osinbajo Presidential Campaign team.
The statement reads, “President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of a campaign organization for his re-election in 2019 with Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as Secretary.
“Hon. Amaechi was the Director General of the Buhari-Osinbajo Presidential Campaign Committee in 2014-2015 that won the elections and brought the current administration into office.
“The new Director-General will announce other appointments into the campaign structure as approved by President Buhari.”
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