Patience, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, has reportedly ‘recovered’ her N2bn hotel which was earlier shut down by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in June.
The anti-graft agency had in June placed the red inscriptions, ‘EFCC Under Investigation’ all over the hotel which is located near Setraco Construction Company, off the Mabushi Kado Expressway.
Findings by Punch showed that the EFCC inscriptions had been erased and patched with grey paint.
One of the workers in the hotel was quoted as saying that, “Go and ask the EFCC if they had the right to put their sign all over the building in the first place. If you want more information, go and ask madam.”
A source at the EFCC said it was wrong of Patience to have erased the EFCC inscription from the building.
He said, “Sometimes when we are investigating some politically exposed persons, they immediately begin to sell off their buildings in order to cover their tracks and run away with the cash so that is why we put EFCC signs on the buildings so that innocent people will not buy those buildings.
“As it is, she has removed the inscriptions and can quickly sell it off.”
In his reaction, Mrs. Jonathan’s lawyer, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), said he was not aware of the seizure of the property.
Adedipe said if the hotel in question was indeed seized through a court order, then the removal of the EFCC inscriptions would be of no effect.
Adedipe said, “I am not aware of the seizure of property. If the EFCC seal was removed from the property, let them go and put another one. In any case, we have sued the EFCC for abuse of her human rights and human dignity. The matter is pending before the Federal High Court in Abuja and everything has been included in that suit.
“We are challenging all the seizures because without prejudice to our case, Mrs. Jonathan was neither a public officer nor a contractor. So, the idea of harassing her beats my imagination.
“I don’t see the basis for the EFCC’s harassment of that woman and the case wears a political toga because she was a formidable element during the campaign.”
Meanwhile, spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said he did not know much about the seizure of the building and thus could not say if it had been returned to Patience or not.
He said, “I have spoken to the appropriate people but I was not able to get any answer on the matter.”