EFCC gathers fresh evidence against Patience Jonathan’s cousin

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has uncovered fresh evidence against one Esther Oba , an alleged front and cousin of Dame Patience Jonathan , the wife of ex -President Goodluck Jonathan .
Oba recently came under investigation when she was identified as one of the owners of N9 bn accounts bearing the signatures of Patience .
Sources told our correspondent that Oba , whom the EFCC has put on its watch list , allegedly possessed two valid Nigerian passports which bear two different signatures .
A source in the EFCC said , “ After we froze Patience Jonathan ’ s accounts a few months ago , we continued to investigate the former First Lady . We then stumbled on some accounts, which did not bear her name but had her signature .
“ We realised that one Esther Oba, who we believe is Patience ’ s cousin, had been operating some accounts for her . The accounts had Oba’ s BVN but carried Patience ’ s signature . So we began investigating Oba .
“ We found out that Oba used two different passports in operating some of the accounts. The two passports are valid but carry different signatures . We immediately wrote a letter to the Nigeria Immigration Service to seek clarification .
“ Immigration confirmed that the two passports are indeed valid . They bear the same name , picture and details but different signatures. So , they have also launched an investigation into the matter . Obviously this is a case of fraud . ”
The source told our correspondent that all attempts to locate Oba had proved abortive .
He added that the EFCC had already hired some forensic experts to study the signatures .
He said , “Oba ’ s signature and that of Patience look exactly alike . But in order to build a solid case , we are hiring some forensic experts to study the signatures and give us a report which we would be able to present in court . ”
He added that due to the existence of Bank Verification Number, it had become difficult for politically -exposed persons to keep huge sums of money in their accounts.
The detective explained that such people opened accounts with other people ’ s identities but used their own signatures on the accounts so that only “the sponsors ” would have access to the accounts.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun – Ishola had recently granted an order freezing the bank accounts allegedly belonging to Patience with over N9 bn lodged in them.
While one of the former President ’ s wife ’ s accounts, domiciled in Skye Bank Plc , has a balance of $ 5 , 316 . 66 , five other company accounts and one belonging to Oba were also frozen.
While the companies ’ accounts in six commercial banks are said to have a balance amounting to N 7 . 4 bn, Oba ’ s account is said to have $ 429 , 381. 87 ( N135 , 255 , 289 . 05 ) .
The companies are Finchley Top Homes Limited , Aribawa Aruera Reachout Foundation, Magel Resort Limited , AM – PM Global Network Limited , Pansy Oil and Gas Limited .
Apart from the recently frozen accounts, the EFCC had, in July, frozen four company accounts with a balance of $ 15 m .
Patience had informed a Federal High Court in Lagos that the money in the accounts belonged to her even though the accounts did not carry her name or BVN .
Some of the accounts were said to be operated by some domestic servants in the employ of a former Special Adviser to ex – President Jonathan on Domestic Affairs , Waripamowei Dudafa .
The companies are Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited , Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Limited , Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Globus Integrated Service Limited .
The companies had, on September 15 , 2016 , pleaded guilty to money laundering when they were arraigned before Justice Babs Kewumi of a Federal High Court in Lagos .

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