EFCC: Patience Jonathan’s salary too small to buy hotels
– Patience Jonathan did not build her hotels and acquire several buildings from her salary because it is too small to buy such big properties
– EFCC says it has pulled records of her monthly salary as permanent secretary which showed that she earned only N700,000, not high enough to acquire the properties
– The EFCC says it might also demand from Patience the list of those who reportedly gave her the $15million found in her account as gift
Mrs Patience Jonathan’s salary was too small to buy the properties she has, says EFCC
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it investigations showed that the salary of former first lady of Nigeria Patience Jonathan was too small to get her a hotel.
The Nation reports that EFCC has retrieved monthly records of Patience’s salary and it showed that she earned just N700,000 as permanent secretary.
Patience will now have to explain how she acquired nine houses, two hotels and one plaza during the tenure of her husband, ex-president Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
The Nation quoted EFCC sources as saying:
“Our operatives are still going ahead with the investigation of the former First Lady.
“So far, our detectives have retrieved her pay slip which showed that after all deductions, she was on monthly salary of N700,000. It is left to her to justify how the salary was able to fetch her assets.
“We demanded for her pay status in line with Section 7 of the EFCC Act. She was a former Permanent Secretary, who earned salary at the end of the month. She managed public trust and she has to account for it.
“We will also look into her assets declaration forms when she assumed office and after she left. If these assets are pleaded, we will proceed to the next stage of our investigation.”
It reported further EFCC might demand records of those who showered her with the cash gift after she allegedly claimed that the $15million in her accounts was a gift.
The source said: “We are yet to get to this bend of investigation.
“But we have read report where she claimed that the $15million in her account was a gift. Then the onus is on her to submit a list of the sources of the gift.”
The EFCC also said it has stumbled on a petition by a civil servant declaring Patience’s appointment as permanent secretary in the first place as a violation of civil service rules and regulations.
“The aggrieved civil servant alleged that promotion of the ex-First Lady from an Assistant Director to a Permanent Secretary was done without any promotion examination.
“He also said the ex-First Lady did not spend up to a year as a director before she was promoted. He said the extant laws are clear that she ought to spend at least four years before moving to the next Grade Level.
“But some in Bayelsa State claimed that appointment of Permanent Secretary is at the discretion of a governor. They said it is basically political.
“You can see that there are many dimensions to her case. In fact, in her file, the Head of Service of Bayelsa State simply wrote: ‘Promote her all the same.’ We have certainly gone far on her.”
On her assets declaration form and exit form, a source in CCB said: “All her forms are in our office in Bayelsa where she was a Permanent Secretary,” the source said.
Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has been sued for asking the EFCC to investigate and prosecute Patience Jonathan.
The former first lady has been under the radar of the EFCC following accusation of financial mismanagement leading to the freezing of some accounts connected to her but the former first lady has said that she made her money by saving donations she got from friends.