A Federal High court sitting in Lagos has unblocked the domiciliary account of Mrs. Patience Jonathan containing $5,842,316.66 at SkyeBank 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 had no jurisdiction to make an order against a party that was 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 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 SkyeBank 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 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 SkyeBank 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.