Patience Jonathan – the Nigeria’s former First Lady has struck a deal to release her 200-bed hotel as COVID-19 Isolation and treatment centre.
The Abuja hotel, which is believed to be worth about N2 billion, is under interim forfeiture secured by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the court on April 30, 2018.
She struck the deal with the current First Lady Aisha Buhari (wife of President Mohammadu Buhari) which led to her release of the hotel, under litigation, for use by the government at the critical time.
The First Lady, through her pet project, the Future Assured Programme, entered into separate agreements with Mrs. Jonathan and the Ministry of Health to convert the hotel into a COVID-19 treatment centre.
Mrs. Buhari made an offer to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, to equip it as a treatment centre to international standards. Although the hotel will be formally handed over to the Minister of Health on Monday, it will be managed by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) COVID-19 committee.
The Future Assured Programme is providing facilities like water, furniture, beddings, fittings and modern health equipment used to manage COVID-19 cases. It was gathered that the “deal” between the First Lady and her predecessor was struck at a recent meeting by the duo at the Presidential Villa.
A source quoted Patience Jonathan 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.”
Investigation revealed that the Aisha Buhari decided to collaborate with her to avoid the Future Assured Programme running into any legal crisis.
A highly-placed source added: “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 FG.”