Lagos Court unblocks Patience Jonathan’s $5.8m

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A Federal High court  in Lagos has unfrozen the domiciliary account of Patience Jonathan containing $5,842,316.66 at  Skye bank Plc.

The order of the court was sequel to an application  argued 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.

Mr Adedipe while citing judicial  authorities contended that the order 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 which 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.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun upheld the submission of Mr. Adedipe and discharged the order freezing the account.

Sometime last year based on an application filed before the court by EFCC, the court  ordered that the account of the former First lady Dame Patience Jonathan containing  $5,842,316.66 domiciled with Skye bank should be frozen on the ground that,the money was suspected to be proceeds of crime.

Also affected by the said order were the accounts of five companies holding  N7.4 billion and the account of  Esther Oba holding $429,381.87. The accounts were located in six different commercial banks.

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 Iseoluwa,

Mr Tukur 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 contained therein to prevent further tampering  with the account being sought to be attached.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun while granting the order freezing the accounts listed in the attached schedule, ordered the anti -graft agency to file an undertaking as to damages if it turned out that the order was not to have been made.

According to the affidavit by Tukur, Dame Patience Jonathan’s money in Skye bank account number 2110001712 with current balance of $5,842,316.66 was presumably  suspected to be proceed of crime.

The accounts of five companies, namely  Finchley Top Homes Limited, Aribawa Aruera Reachout Foundation, Magel Resort Limited, AM -PM Global network Limited Pansy Oil and Gas Limited and Esther Oba were also affected

Finchley Top Homes Limited account  1102001996 domiciled at  ECOBANK PLC with a current balance of N226,376,700.23 and a fixed deposit with balance of N1,099,511,484.88 were red-flagged.

Frozen too were Finchley Top Homes Limited  Skye Bank account  1771731336  with current balance of N14,173,848.85,  Fidelity Bank account 4011019539 with current balance of N1,800,494,000.00, Stanbic account 0016901361  with current balance of N40,594,12.88 and Diamond Bank account 0019213687 with current balance  of N39,418,712.12.

Aribawa Aruera Reachout Foundation  account 1222014221 at ECOBANK  Plc with closing balance of N479,893,431.01, Magel Resort Limited with Fidelity Bank accounts   4011019546/5250059782 with current balance of N1,000,494,000, Zenith Bank account 1011744356 with balance of N858,923,982.00 and Diamond Bank account 0024351590  with balance of N174,166,207.00 were all affected.

Also affected by the freeze-order were AM-PM Global Network Limited Diamond Bank  account  0026718889  with balance of N7,213,303.50 and  Pagmat Oil and Gas Limited account  4011019577 with Fidelity bank with current balance of N1.8b and account  0026838491 with Diamond bank Plc with balance of N55,930,024.50.

Esther Oba’s  account 0019213689 with Diamond and with a   balance of $429,381.87 was also then frozen.