Court grants Patience Jonathan unfettered access to bank account
Former first lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, can now access her account with Skye Bank Plc, where she had deposited $5. 842,316. 66 million, ruled the Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun on April 6, 2017 unfroze the account after her counsel, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for joining her in a suit that she was not a party.
But dissatisfied with the unfreezing order, the EFCC filed an application for a stay of execution of the order and a notice
of appeal challenging the judgment and the two applications according to EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, were dated April 6, and filed on April 7.
At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, Oyedepo informed the court of the EFCC’s intention to discontinue with the two applications without stating reasons. Subsequently, Adedipe confirmed the service of the application for withdrawal on the defendants and equally informed the court of his intention to withdraw Form 48 (notice of Committal to prison) and Form 49 (Committal to prison), which he said was filed against the Skye Bank Plc, in anticipation that if it failed to obey the order
unfreezing Jonathan’s account.
After listening to the submissions of both counsel, Justice Olatoregun granted the withdrawal of the EFCC’s two applications, and Patience Jonathan’s Form 48 and Form 49.
At the instance of the EFCC last year, Justice Olatoregun had made an interim order freezing multiple accounts linked with Patience on the ground that the money is suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Also affected by the said order are five limited companies that had N7, 418, 829, 290.94, the five companies are: Finchley Top Homes Limited, Aribawa Aruera, Magel Resort Limited, AM -PM Global Network Limited, Pansy Oil and Gas Limited.
Also affected was an account belonging to one Esther Oba with sum of $429, 381. 87. The order of the court was sequel to a further and better affidavit in support of ex-parte originating summons sworn to by Abdulahi Tukur, an investigating officer of the Economic and Financial crime Commission (EFCC) and filed before the court by EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo.
Tukur had averred that there was urgent need for the court to direct the managers of the bank accounts contained in the schedule filed with the summons FHC/L/CS/1343/16 to in the interim, forfeit the money contain therein to prevent further tampering with the account being sought to be attached.
He also averred that Patience Jonathan’s money in Skye Bank account number 2110001712 with current balance of $5, 842, 316. 66, is reasonably suspected to be proceed of crime.
Tukur also listed in the affidavit five companies.