Detectives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have discovered that about 813, 221.7272 Square Metres of land were allocated to a former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan.
In one fell swoop, the ex-First Lady was allegedly allocated 644,162.11 Square Metres in Idogwari by the Federal Capital Territory through a proxy firm, AM-PM Global Network Limited.
The anti-graft agency might seek the forfeiture of the choice plots of land any moment from now in collaboration with the Minister of Federal Capital Territory.
According to a document obtained by our correspondent revealed that the choice plots were acquired between August 3, 2010 and October 23, 2014.
The document indicated that the ex-First Lady allegedly secured the plots of land through her Non-Governmental charity group, Ariwabai Aruera Reachout Foundation and a company, AM-PM Global Network Limited.
A breakdown of the plots of land and their sizes are as follows: Plot No. 96, Cadastral Zone D05 of Karsana North(77,176.97 Square Metres); Plot No. 7109 Cadastral Zone E18 Wasa(79,178.15 Square Metres); and Plot No. 30 Cadastral Zone D03 Idogwari(644,162.11 Square Metres) for AM-PM Global Network Limited.
The Ariwabai Aruera Reachout Foundation was given Plot No. 1350, Cadastral Zone A00(Central Area District)—6,110.83 Square Metres; and Plot No. 1758, Cadastral Zone B06(Mabushi)—6593.66 Square Metres.
A top source in EFCC, who spoke in confidence, said: “The land allocations traced to the ex-First Lady were the highest to any individual in the history of FCT. It has become necessary to let the public be aware of how she got the plots.
“Initially, when we released the list of the plots, we did not know the magnitude of their sizes until we went through the records and asked experts to verify with our team.
“We have uncovered that the 644,162.11 Square Metres of land in Idogwari were allocated to the ex-First Lady under the guise of a Mass-Housing Development Scheme. The same excuse was attributed to similar allocations in Karsana North and Wasa but no mass or affordable housing scheme has taken off.
“Our detectives have so far been able to establish a fresh case of land grab and abuse of office against the former First Lady. The sizes of the land in the FCT to an individual were shocking. Imagine an NGO being allocated about 12, 704.51 Square Metres.
“We have initiated moves to seek the forfeiture of the massive plots of land. We will collaborate with all relevant agencies for the seizure.”
Responding to a question, the top source added that the EFCC was not out to ridicule the former First Lady.
The source added: “Our detectives have interrogated all those connected with the allocation of the plots of land including those in the Department of Land Administration in FCT and Abuja Geographic Information Systems(AGIS) and they confirmed some abuse by political authority in FCT.
“The facts are certainly available for all Nigerians to see. There was no justification for conscripting plots of land in Abuja. These plots of land belong to peasants and some innocent Nigerians. We want to retrieve back the plots of land through due legal process.”
“In fact, one of the records indicated that a plot of land(Plot 60 in Cadastral Zone C00) meant for institutions and research was withdrawn without prejudice and re-allocated to the former First Lady. And the reason given for the revocation was simply tagged: “Discretion by Authority.” So, this investigation is not personal at all.”
Section 7 of the EFCC Act says: “The commission has power to (a) cause any investigations to be conducted as to whether any person, corporate body or organization has committed any offence under this Act or other law relating to economic and financial crimes.
“(b) Cause investigations to be conducted into the properties of any person if it appears to the commission that the person’s lifestyle and extent of the properties are not justified by his source of income.”
Apart from the plots of land, Mrs. Jonathan is being probed in connection with 17 properties in Port Harcourt and Yenagoa.
Some of the affected assets in Port Harcourt are former Customs Service officers mess; two duplexes at 2/3 Bauchi Street; landed property with blocks at Ambowei Street; 3 Luxury apartments of 4-bedroom each at Ambowei Street; and Grand View Hotel along airport road.
The rest suspected assets in Yenagoa include two marble duplexes at Otioko GRA by Isaac Boro Expressway; Glass House along Sani Abacha Expressway which is housing Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board; Akemfa Etie Plaza by AP filling Station, Melford Okilo Road; and Aridolf Resort, Wellness and Spa along Sani Abacha Expressway.
But last week, the ex-First Lady accused the EFCC of witch-hunt .
She said: “We understand that the EFCC is desperate to distract Nigerians from the current massive corruption bedeviling the nation, and as such has embarked on propaganda using the name of the former first Lady. This is callous and must stop. If the EFCC has such evidence they should present it to the Senate and House of representatives.
“One wonders why the EFCC has repeatedly refused to honour the invitation of the House of Representatives and the Senate, to state their case.”