Court Directs Release Of Patience Jonathan’s $5. 8M
Reprieve came the way of former first lady Dame Patience Jonathan, as a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos today unfreeze her account containing $5,842,316.66 domicile with Skye Bank PLC.
The order of the court was sequel to an application filed and argued before the court by her lawyer, Mr. Adedayo Adedipe SAN leading seven other lawyers
Adedipe urged the court to unfreeze the account on the ground that Patience Jonathan was not a party in the suit leading to the order made by the court freezing her account.
While citing judicial authorities, Adedipe said the suit was an abuse of court process as the court has no jurisdiction to make an order against a party that is not a party in a suit filed before the court.
The EFCC who initiated the suit leading to the order made by the court freezing the account did not file any response to the application filed to discharge the order.
In her ruling, the Presiding Judge, Mojisola Olatoregun while upholding the submission of Mr. Adedipe discharged the order freezing the account.
Recalled that sometime last year sequel to an application filed before the court by EFCC, the court ordered that the account of the former First lady Dame Patience Jonathan containing the sum of $5,842,316.66 domicile with Skye bank should be frozen on the ground that, the money is suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Also affected by the said order are five companies and one Esther Oba, who were having total sums of N7, 418,829,290.94 for the five companies and $429,381.87 for Esther Oba in six different commercial banks.
The order of the court was as a result of an 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 Iseoluwa,
Tukur averred that there is 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.
Dame 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.
Five companies: Finchley Top Homes Limited, Aribawa Aruera,Magel resort Limited, AM -PM Global network Limited Pansy Oil and Gas Limited and Esther Oba are also affected.
Finchley Top Homes Limited fraudulently open account number 1102001996 domicile with ECOBANK PLC with a current balance of N226,376,700.23 and a fixed deposit with balance of N1,099,511,484.88.
Finchley Top Homes Limited also fraudulently open the following accounts, 1771731336 domicile with SKYE Bank PLC with current balance of N14,173,848.85, 4011019539 domicile with Fidelity bank Plc with current balance of N1,800,494,000.00, 0016901361 domiciled with Stanbic bank Plc with current balance of N40,594,12.88, 0019213687 domiciled with Diamond bank Plc with current balance of N39,418,712.12
Another Limited liability company affected by the order of the court is Aribawa Aruera Reachout Foundation opened account number 1222014221 domiciled with ECOBANK PLC with closing balance of N479, 893,431.01.
Others are, Magel Resort limited open account number 4011019546/5250059782 domiciled with Fidelity Bank PLC with current balance of N1, 000,494,000.
There were other two accounts open by Magel Resort Limited, 1011744356 domiciled with Zenith Bank Plc with balance of N858,923,982.00 and 0024351590 domiciled with Diamond bank Plc with balance of N174,166,207.00.
AM-PM Global Network Limited open account number 0026718889 domiciled with Diamond bank Plc with balance of N7, 213,303.50.
Pagmat oil and Gas Limited open account number 4011019577 with Fidelity Bank with current balance of N1,809,666,494.68 and account number 0026838491 with Diamond bank Plc with balance of N55,930,024.50.
Esther Oba opened account number 0019213689 with Diamond Skye bank Plc with current balance of $429,381.87
All the monies were suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Consequently upon the receipt of intelligent report EFCC analysed it and found it to be worthy of investigation. Therefore, Mr Tukur averred that it will serve the course of Justice to grant this application.
The Presiding Judge,Mojisola Olatoregun while granting the order freezing the accounts listed above ordered the anti -graft agency to file undertaking as to damages if it turned out that the order was not to have been made.