Nigerians are never tired of the breaking news that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating Politian over alleged misappropriation of funds, money laundering, embezzlement or any other corrupt practices, it is like a new normal in our political history that we have come to embrace as a nation.
Politicians in this case does not expressly means elected officials, it also include public officials, even their spouses and relations have come to find a place within the category, which brings us to a list of First Ladies in the country that have come under investigation by the EFCC since 2015.
It is no longer news thatToyin Saraki, the wife of Senator Bukola Saraki, the President of the Nigerian Senate and former Kwara State governor, has been invited, questioned and investigated by the EFCC.
The former Kwara first lady was invited by the EFCC in July 2015 for questioning over an alleged case of corruption.
Mrs. Saraki honoured the invitation on July 28th 2015, when she appeared at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja and was grilled for over five hours.
Toyin had been accused by the EFCC of an alleged involvement in a multi-million naira misappropriation of bank loan and laundering of funds from the Kwara State Government while her husband served as the Governor of the state from 2003 to 2011.
Another former first lady that has also been questioned by the anti-graft agency isZainabu Yar’adua-Dakingari, the wife of a former Kebbi state governor, Saidu Dakingari.
Mrs. Dakingari was questioned on issues relating to an alleged N2 billion fraud perpetrated during her husband’s tenure as governor and how her companies got a steady stream of cash while she was the state’s First Lady.
Zainab, who is one of the daughters of late President Umar Musa Yar’adua, was quizzed by the EFCC to ascertain if these companies executed some contracts for the state or not while her husband served as governor between 2007 to 2015.
Meanwhile, rumours began to make rounds in August 2018 that a sitting first lady will be indicted by EFCC for misappropriation of funds, if found guilty,Dr (Mrs.) Eunice Ortom, was the culprit in this case.
The wife of the Governor Samuel Ortom was said to have been implicated in the fraud rocking the Benue state office of the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP).
It was alleged that the report from the panel setup to investigate the focal person for the programme in the state, revealed that the Governor’s wife took an N800 million loan from the Sterling Bank in Makurdi to kick start her NGO known as Eunice Spring of Life Foundation and that the findings had been sent to the EFCC.
But the rumours died down when the first lady debunked being invited or questioned by the EFCC over the issue.
While these ones may be categorized as fictitious cases, the EFCC caught a bigger fish in the league of Nigeria first ladies, when it began investigating funds which was traced to the former first Lady of Nigeria,Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan.
The court granted forfeiture of the money which was domicile in Polaris Bank (it was still Skye bank, then) but Mrs. Jonathan suddenly came out to claim the funds as her personal funds while denying any knowledge of the companies.
EFCC has also been granted interim forfeiture of N2.4 billion, $5.9million, $8.4 million and N9.2 billion which allegedly belonged to the former first lady hidden in her private account while some were discovered in various corporate accounts used as a front.
The anti-graft agency’s investigation has also revealed many landed and residential properties belonging to Mrs. Jonathan but she has not been invited for questioning, rather the Dame and the EFCC have been going head-to-head in court over to reclaim the funds which she revealed were personal gift from friends and state governors to her.
Let us know what you think about these first ladies in the comment section