Former First Lady of Nigeria, Dame Patience Jonathan has denied allegations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that she uses her foundation as a channel to launder stolen money.
Dame Jonathan in a press statement signed by her Chief Press Secretary Belema Meshack-Hart, on Thursday, said that contrary to claims by the EFCC, her foundation has been touching people’s lives since 2006 when it was established.
She revealed that her Aruera Reachout Foundation, has spent over N3.5bn for the treatment of 700 children and adults with heart-related ailments.
Mrs. Jonathan said the foundation has a medical unit which sponsors the treatment and surgery of children and adults with various heart conditions.
The statement reads “Till date, over 700 children have benefited from the Aruera Reachout Foundation, this alone cost the foundation billions, it is not news that the logistics involved in the treatment of heart disease cost over N5m per child.
“This demonstrates the caring and maternal nature of Nigeria’s former first lady. God has used her as an instrument to positively touch the lives of some of our nation’s sick children, to make them healthy and happy through the appropriate medical intervention, it is now strange and sad that the EFCC will allege that such foundation only existed to launder funds.
“The many sick children that would have died but now live a happy life will stand as testament against the baseless propaganda and shameless allegation of the EFCC. It is worthy of note that the foundation which is duly registered by the CAC is free to receive donations from reputable individuals and organisations for its projects just like any other NGO.”
The wife of Former President Goodluck Jonathan, Madam Peace as she is fondly called, also rejected the ownership of a $12m account in Diamond Bank which the EFCC allege belongs to her.
The statement read in part, “For avoidance of doubt Mrs. Patience Jonathan does not have $12,831,173 domiciled in Diamond Bank as alleged by the EFCC. Anyone with proof should provide evidence and take advantage of the whistle-blower policy.”
She further berated the EFCC for claiming that the N2.1bn Magel Resort Ltd., a hotel owned by her late mum, Mama Charity Oba, has been traced to her, as the original owner.
The statement said “The former first lady had no dealings with the hotel until the demise of her late mum after which the hotel was handed over to her with the presentation of the death certificate of her mum.
“This can be confirmed by Zenith Bank. Mrs. Patience Jonathan does not own Magel Resort Ltd. neither did she open the hotels account with Zenith Bank. The late mother of the former first lady should be allowed to rest in peace.”
She pleaded with the EFCC to respect the memories of her late mother and allow her to rest in peace.