EFCC reportedly arrests Patience Jonathan’s Sister over ₦3bn

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested Esther Oba, sister of the former First Lady Patience Jonathan over the sum of ₦3 billion paid in her bank accounts, Punch reports.

Oba was reportedly arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Monday, after arriving from Dubai with her family.

A source from EFCC who spoke to Punch said the commission has for a year been searching for Oba, after her name was found to be the sole signatory to the bank account of AM-PM Global Network, a firm under investigation for alleged fraud.

The bank account had reportedly received the sum of ₦317 million, described as “proceeds of unlawful enrichment” from former First Lady Patience Jonathan who was appointed a permanent secretary in Bayelsa State.

The commission had reportedly put her on a watchlist and asked security agencies to alert them whenever she was found. The source said:

We had been looking for her for over a year because her name featured as the sole signatory to the account of one AM-PM Global Network, a firm under investigation for alleged fraud.

When we could not get her, we alerted all security agencies and told them to put her on a watchlist and to inform us if she showed up at any port of entry. On Monday, we received word from the Nigeria Immigration Service that she came in with her husband and three children.

We raced down to the airport and picked her up. She is still in our custody.
Oba has however, in a statement made at the EFCC, denied any culpability, saying the firm was owned by her mother who has passed.
She added that her brother, Mohammed Tamuno Tonye, who has also passed, was the only one with the knowledge of the source of the funds.
The EFCC source has however described the claims as “hard to believe.” The source said:

She said her mother, Mama Charity Oba, was the original owner of the firm. However, after her mother died a Bank Verification Number was needed, two directors of the firm, Gift and Mohammed Tamuno Tonye, wrote Stanbic IBTC saying Esther Oba should be the sole signatory.

She took charge of the account on February 3, 2016 and between March and May of the same year, there was an inflow of N317m into the account. She said only her brother, Mohammed Tamuno Tonye, knew the source of the funds and he died a few months ago.

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