Court Grants Patience Jonathan Unfettered Access To $5.8M
The coast is now clear for former first lady of Nigeria, Mrs. Patience Ibifaka Jonathan, to access her account with Skye Bank Plc, where she housed $5. 842, 316. 66 million.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun had on April 6, 2017, unfreezes the account after Mrs. Jonathan’s lawyer, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), had challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for joining her in a suit that she was not a party, and urged the court to unfreeze his client’s account.
Not satisfied with the unfreezing order, EFCC filed an application for a stay of execution of the unfreezing order and a notice of appeal challenging the judgment.
The two applications according to EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, were dated April 6, and filed on April 7.
However, at the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, EFCC lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, informed Justice Olatoregun of his agency’s intention to discontinue the two applications.
Though, he did not give any reason for the withdrawal.
Upon the withdrawal of the two applications, lawyer to Patience Jonathan, Chief Adedipe (SAN), confirmed the service of the application for withdrawal on the defendants.
He 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 Skye Bank Plc, in anticipation that if it failed to obey the order unfreezing Jonathan’s account.
Upon the submissions of both counsels, Justice Olatoregun granted the withdrawal of the two applications filed by EFCC’ and Patience Jonathan’s Form 48 and Form 49.
It would be recalled that sometime last year based on an application filed before the court by EFCC, Justice Olatoregun had ordered that the account of the former First lady Dame Patience Jonathan housing the sum of $5, 842, 316. 66 USD, and domicile with Skye bank Plc, be frozen on the ground that, the money is suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Also affected by the said order are five limited companies that were having a total sums of N7, 418, 829, 290.94 billion, the five companies are: Finchley Top Homes Limited, Aribawa Aruera, Magel resort Limited, AM -PM Global network Limited, Pansy Oil and Gas Limited and an account belonging to one Esther Oba with sum of $429, 381. 87.
The order of the court frozen the account 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 Iseoluwa,
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.
Patience Jonathan’s money in Skye bank account number 2110001712 with current balance of $5, 842, 316. 66 USD, 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 billion, account 0016901361 domiciled with Stanbic bank Plc with current balance of N40, 594, 12. 88 and 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 bank 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 billion.
Pagmat oil and Gas open account number 4011019577 with Fidelity bank with current balance of N1,809,666,494.68 billion, and account number 0026838491 with Diamond bank Plc with balance of N55,930,024.50