Dame Patience Jonathan, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, is on the verge of losing a N10bn hotel allegedly belonging to her, as a result of the $20 million traced to her accounts.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recently traced the amounts to the former First Lady while investigating some aides in the past administration, and has demanded explanation on how the funds came about.
“This is one of the questions she may have to answer as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission continues investigation into the $20m found in five accounts she has laid claim to,” an EFCC source told Punch.
Patience Jonathan had in April 2015, a month before her husband handed over to the present administration, inaugurated the hotel known as Aridolf Resort Wellness and Spa, Yenagoa.
In a report dated April 21, 2015, UK business paper, The Financial Times suggested the hotel measures up to what obtains in developed countries.
“The Aridolf Hotel in Yenagoa is an unlikely monument to kitsch on a reclaimed swamp in Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta. In the lobby, Louis XIV furniture is accompanied by bowls of plastic fruit, faux Dutch landscapes and a grotesquely gaudy chandelier. The hotel is redolent of the riches on display in a region that for half a century has generated the bulk of Nigeria’s wealth.
“The Aridolf, which is owned by Patience Jonathan, wife of the former President, is symptomatic of how superficial progress has been in addressing the festering sense of marginalisation in the region, which remains desperately impoverished despite benefiting from a tide of petrodollars in recent years.” The Finacial Times is quoted
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, maintains that the EFCC had the right to investigate anybody who was living above his or her means, stating that failure to do so could result in forfeiture of properties believed to have been obtained through stolen funds.
In the wake of the investigation, Mrs. Jonathan has sued Skye Bank and the EFCC for freezing four company accounts which have a balance of $15m, although another account with the title, ‘Patience Ibifaka Jonathan’ which has a balance of $5m, is still active.