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Patience Jonathan confirms withdrawal from unfrozen bank account

DAME Patience Jonathan, wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, has confirmed that she withdrew some money from her unfrozen Skye Bank domiciliary account, containing about $5.8 million.

She had visited the bank a few days after Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, ordered the de-freezing of the account.

A source said that Mrs. Jonathan arrived at the Maitama, Abuja branch of the bank in the company of some aides on Monday.

He said that the transaction, which took some time, was successful.

However, there were reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, stopped the former first lady from making any withdrawal from the account.

But Charles Ogboli, Mrs Jonathan’s lawyer, said she withdrew $100, 000 from the account for medical treatment.

“She wanted to withdraw $5 million on Friday but unfortunately there were no funds and they (the bank) pleaded with her that she could withdraw $100,000 in order to comply with the order court. They have complied fully with the order of court.

“Therefore, the notice of appeal (by the EFCC) came late. The notice and stay of execution is a mere application. And we are talking of court order. Appeal has not been entered yet; records have not been transferred from the lower court to the court of appeal. In the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, the mere fact that you have an appeal against a proceeding, does not stop the trial from going on. That was what they were acting upon.

“Unfortunately for them, the order had been executed. Even when you move the motion, it is an exercise in futility. So we are going to court to respond to whatever they filed. The issue is that she went to the bank and applied and the account was debited with $100,000. There were no challenges as to withdrawal from her account. She was not in any pressure to withdraw all the money, after all the money was there. But this is just for her medical treatment and all that.”

“I wonder why some print media will be publishing things that are not within their knowledge or facts. Mrs Jonathan is a law-abiding citizens and she has not done anything which is ultra vires to the laws of the land.”

Justice Olatoregun’s order was sequel to an application argued by Adedayo Adedipe, counsel to the former first lady.

Adedipe had urged the court to unfreeze the account on the grounds that Jonathan was not a party in the suit leading to the order made by the court.

The counsel, 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 is not a party in a suit filed before the court.

Sometime last year, based on an application filed by the EFCC, the court had ordered that the account be frozen on the grounds that it contained suspected proceeds of crime.





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