Seized $429,381.87: Patience Jonathan’s younger sister battles EFCC

A younger sister of Patience Jonathan, Esther Oba, has opposed the bid to forfeit to the Federal Government the sum of $429,381. 87 found in her bank account.

Oba appeared on Friday before the Federal High Court in Lagos, where the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is seeking a court order to permanently forfeit the money to the Federal Government.

The anti-graft agency claimed that the funds were proceeds of crime, but Oba insisted that she earned the money legitimately.

In court on Friday, while being led in evidence by her lawyer, Mr Ige Asemudara, Oba explained that she made the money in the course of working as a Special Assistant on Household Administration to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

She said the funds found in her Skye Bank account were estacodes she got for foreign trips as well as donations made to her when her mother died.

She said, “Also, when I had my first child after 14 years of marriage without a child,  I got a lot of gifts. Some were hard currencies, land, cars;  anything anyone can give as a gift.”

Oba said she opened the Skye Bank account to keep the gifts on the advice of a former EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde.

 She said, “When Lamorde came to visit her (Patience), he advised her to open a card account. I took the advice too and opened the Skye Bank account.”

While being cross-examined by counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, Oba said she got $600 per day in estacode whenever she travelled.

When Oyedepo asked her why there were variations in her signatures, Oba said she had two signatures. Oyedepo requested that a sheet of paper be given to Oba to sign both signatures.

After objections by other counsel, including Patience’s lawyer, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), Justice Olatoregun directed Oba to sign both signatures, which she did. The paper on which she signed was admitted in evidence as an exhibit.

The court adjourned till June 27 for judgment.
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