Patience Jonathan defeats EFCC in court
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Thursday, issued an order unfreezing the Skye Bank account of Patience Jonathan, wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, which has a balance of $5,842,316.66.
The judge made the order after counsel for Mrs Jonathan, Ifedayo Adedipe, brought an application urging the court to unfreeze the said account on the ground that Mrs Jonathan was not a party in the suit which culminated into the order being made where her account was seized.
In discharging the order which froze the account owned by Mrs Jonathan, Justice Olatoregun held that the suit was an abuse of court process.
It will be recalled that the court had given the freezing order on the ground that the accounts contained suspected proceeds of crime.
Also affected by the order were five companies and one Esther Oba. The companies collectively have balances totalling N7,418,829,290.94 in six commercial banks, while Esther Oba had a balance of $429,381.87.
The court order was sequel to a further affidavit in support of ex-parte originating summons sworn to by Mr Abdulahi Tukur, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and filed before the court by EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo.
Tukur averred that there was an 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 in the accounts.
The five companies affected are Finchley Top Homes Limited, Aribawa Aruera, Magel Resort Limited, AM-PM Global Network Limited Pansy Oil and Gas Limited.
Finchley Top Homes Limited is alleged to have fraudulently opened account with Ecobank Plc and has a current balance of N226,376,700.23 and a fixed deposit with a balance of N1,099,511,484.88.
According to the EFCC, the company also fraudulently opened other account, domiciled with Skye Bank and with a current balance of N14,173,848.85; Fidelity Bank account with a current balance of N1,800,494,000; Stanbic Bank account with a current balance of N40,594,12.88; and Diamond Bank account with a current balance of N39,418,712.12.
Aribawa Aruera Reachout Foundation opened account with Ecobank and has a closing balance of N479,893,431.01, while Magel Resort Limited accounts with Fidelity Bank has a subsisting balance of N1,000,494,000.
The EFCC further said that the company also operates two other accounts in Zenith Bank, which has a balance of N858,923,982, and with Diamond Bank and has a balance of N174,166,207.00.
The account opened by Pansy Oil and Gas Limited at Fidelity Bank has a current balance of N1,809,666,494.68, while that of Diamond Bank has a balance of N55,930,024.50.
Esther Oba was found to have opened account with Diamond Bank and has a current balance of $429,381.87.
All the money are suspected to be proceeds of crime.
In fighting against the freezing order, Mrs Jonathan had instituted a $200 million suit against the EFCC, challenging the freezing order.