A Federal High Court, Lagos, on Thursday, unfreeze an account with Skye Bank Plc, belonging to the former first lady Dame Patience Jonathan, where the sum of $5, 842, 316. 66 USD was kept.
The court presided over by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun unfreezed the account sequel to an application filed and argued before the court by Patience Jonathan’s lawyer, Mr. Adedayo Adedipe (SAN).
Adedipe (SAN) had urged the court to unfreeze the account on the ground that his client, Patience Jonathan, was not a party in the suit leading to the court’s freezing order her account.
Adedipe while citing judicial authorities contended that 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 Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (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 holding the submission of Mr. Adedipe discharged the order freezing the account.
It would be recalled that sometime last year base 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 USD.
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
Pagmat oil and Gas Limited 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 million.
While Esther Oba’s 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 the deponent said EFCC analyzed 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.