The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has rejected an appeal by former First Lady, Patience Jonathan, to settle out of court the brewing dispute over the strange payment of $11,489,069.03 into her domiciliary accounts. Mrs Jonathan through her counsel approached the antigraft agency for an out of court settlement.

The Nation reports that EFCC has however turned down her request and has asked her to appear before a court by entering into a plea bargain in line with the laws of the land. The agency said it would only accept a plea bargain in which the court is carried along.

Investigations by EFCC showed that some persons made strange depoits into the domiciliary account of the former first lady while she and her husband were in power. EFCC detectives have not been able to trace about 29 of the 31 individuals and companies which made the controversial deposits.

A source in the antigraft agency who spoke on condition of anonymity said that an out-of-court settlement suggests that there is a dispute between two parties.

“We have considered the January 30, 2018 letter by Dame (Mrs.) Ibifaka Patience Jonathan; we are of the opinion that her offer of out-of-court settlement is strange and confounding as if there is a dispute between her and the EFCC. We are certainly rejecting the offer from the ex-First Lady because the EFCC does not engage in such a deal. But we prefer the ex-First Lady approaching a court for plea bargain in line with the relevant laws if she is ready to settle all issues. The terms of the plea bargain will be open to all parties before the court. I think she should emulate other high profile suspects who went to the court for plea bargain. We are ready to apply the laws in the interest of justice for all. We won’t oppose plea bargain.”

The source said the EFCC would soon make its position known to Mrs Jonathan counsel. “As an officer in the Temple of Justice, we know that the respected Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) will guide the ex-First Lady accordingly,” he said.


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