The wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience Jonathan, says she has spent N3.5 billion treating children with heart-related diseases through her foundation, Aruera Reachout Foundation. Mrs. Jonathan said this while reacting to allegations made by EFCC that she used the foundation to launder money for her husband while he was in office.
In a statement released by her media aide, Belema Meshack-Hart, Mrs. Jonathan said her foundation is a “non-governmental, not-for-profit organization that sponsors the treatment and surgery of children and adults with heart conditions.
“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 the 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 organizations for its projects just like any other NGO.” the statement read
Mrs Jonathan is being tried by the EFCC for alleged money laundering. Recall that early this month, she released a statement accusing the EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, of witch-hunting her because she supported her husband during the 2015 election.