In a bid to rubbish corruption allegations against her, Mrs. Patience Jonathan says her foundation Aruera Reachout Foundation, spent over N3.5bn for the treatment of 700 children and adults with heart-related ailments.
She, therefore, rubbished allegations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that she used her foundation to launder stolen funds.
Patience, who is the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, said this in a statement by her Chief Press Secretary, Belema Meshack-Hart, on Thursday.
Mrs. Jonathan said her foundation “is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation established in 2006.”
She said the foundation had a medical unit which sponsors the treatment and surgery of children and some adults with heart conditions.
The statement added, “Till date, over 700 children have benefited from the Aruera Reachout Foundation, this alone cost the foundation billions, it is not news that the logistics involved in the treatment of heart disease cost over N5m per child.
“This demonstrates the caring and maternal nature of Nigeria’s former first lady. God has used her as an instrument to positively touch the lives of some of our nation’s sick children, to make them healthy and happy through the appropriate medical intervention, it is now strange and sad that the EFCC will allege that such foundation only existed to launder funds.
“The many sick children that would have died but now live a happy life will stand as testament against the baseless propaganda and shameless allegation of the EFCC. It is worthy of note that the foundation which is duly registered by the CAC is free to receive donations from reputable individuals and organisations for its projects just like any other NGO.”
Patience also rejected the ownership of a $12m account in Diamond Bank which the EFCC allegedly traced to her.
The statement read in part, “For avoidance of doubt Mrs. Patience Jonathan does not have $12,831,173 domiciled in Diamond Bank as alleged by the EFCC. Anyone with proof should provide evidence and take advantage of the whistle-blower policy.”
The former first lady also berated the EFCC for saying it had traced N2.1bn to Magel Resort Ltd., a hotel owned by her late mum, Mama Charity Oba.
She urged the EFCC to let her late mother rest in peace.
Patience added, “The former first lady had no dealings with the hotel until the demise of her late mum after which the hotel was handed over to her with the presentation of the death certificate of her mum.
“This can be confirmed by Zenith Bank. Mrs. Patience Jonathan does not own Magel Resort Ltd. neither did she open the hotels account with Zenith Bank. The late mother of the former first lady should be allowed to rest in peace.”
Mrs. Jonathan further rubbished reports that a N200m IT contract was awarded to Magel Resort LTD, describing it as a figment of the imagination of the EFCC.