The Federal Government is planning to convert a hotel belonging to Nigerian former first lady, Patience Jonathan to an isolation and treatment centre for Coronavirus patients.
The hotel located in Abuja, the Nation reports, is under an interim forfeiture to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2018.
According to the newspaper, Mrs Jonathan struck a deal with Aisha Buhari, the wife of the current Nigerian President, which led to the release of the hotel to the government for use.
It was gathered the deal was struck through the former First lady’s pet project – the Future Assured Programme.
The paper quoted Patience as saying “This is the time we must all come together, irrespective of political differences, to assist this nation to fight the pandemic. It is time to shun politics. I will do everything to help this great country that has also given me the opportunity to serve.”
Aisha was also said to have made another deal with the Nigerian health minister to convert the hotel to a treatment centre that meets the international standard.
While the hotel will be managed by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Coronavirus committee, Patience Jonathan’s pet project FAP will get the contract to supply water, bedding, furniture, modern health equipment, fittings to manage the COVID-19 cases.
According to a source, “Since the dispute over the property is still in court, the First Lady opted to seek the consent of Mrs Patience Jonathan on the temporary use of the seized hotel. This mutual understanding has removed all legal hurdles
“After the nation has overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, the hotel will be handed over to the Federal Ministry of Health, which will, in turn, revert to the EFCC. Those involved are, therefore, the Future Assured Programme, the Ministry of Health, the EFCC and ex-First Lady Mrs Patience Jonathan.
“All the existing agreements are without prejudice to the final decision of the court on the property, which the First Lady said is owned by a separate entity, Aurora Foundation.”
Mojisola Olatoregun, a presiding judge at a Federal High Court in Lagos in 2019 ordered the permanent seizure of $8.4 million and N9.2 billion belonging to Patience Jonathan.
The judge gave the order based on the suit filed by the EFCC.