Prominent business woman, Bola Shagaya is in hot soup as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday urged the Federal High Court in Lagos not to unfreeze a Unity Bank account with a balance of N1,902,673,399.93 belonging to her.
The EFCC claimed that the N1.9bn was the balance of a total of N3,305,150,000, which Shagaya received as “founder fees” on behalf of an organisation, “Women for Change” being spearheaded by a former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan.
The agency claimed that the N3.3bn was realised through Shagaya’s “fraudulent activities in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,” where she allegedly “influenced the fraudulent allocation of Dual Purpose Kerosene to Index Petrolube Africa Limited, with the aid of the former First Lady, Mrs. Dame Patience Jonathan.”
The EFCC said the N3.3bn was paid by the Index Petrolube Africa Limited and its sister company, Autodex Nigeria Limited.The two companies, it said, belong to one Honourable Ezeani ThankGod, and the reason for the N3.3bn payment was to “fraudulently facilitate Dual Purpose Kerosene to ThankGod’s company, Index Petrolube Africa Limited.”
The anti-graft agency claimed that out of the N3.3bn, Shagaya had “paid a cumulative sum of N1,212,000,000 to the former First Lady, Mrs. Dame Patience Jonathan, through her ‘Women for Change Initiative’ account domiciled in Diamond Bank, to which the former First Lady is the sole signatory.”
It said after paying N1.2bn to Patience, Shagaya kept the balance of N1.9bn for herself by “warehousing” same in her personal bank account in Unity Bank.
The EFCC said it was on this basis that it secured an order of Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court in Lagos on December 29, 2016 to freeze the account.
It, therefore, begged Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo of the same court not to unfreeze Shagaya’s account, so that Shagaya would not “use this honourable court as a shield against criminal investigations and prosecution.”
These were contained in a counter-affidavit filed by the EFCC in response to an originating summons filed by Shagaya, urging the court to give her access to her Unity Bank account, which had been frozen since December 29, 2016.