Court Grants Patience Jonathan Unfettered Access to Her Account


• EFCC withdraws application for stay of execution

Davidson Iriekpen
The coast is now clear for the former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, to access her $5.84million in Skye Bank.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun had on April 6, 2017, unfrozen the account after Mrs. Jonathan’s lawyer, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for joining her in a suit that she was not a party to, and urged the court to unfreeze his client’s account.

 Not satisfied with the order, the EFCC filed an application for stay of execution of the 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, Oyedepo informed the judge of his agency’s intention to discontinue the two applications.

He did not give any reason for the discontinuance.
Upon the withdrawal of the two applications, lawyer to Mrs. Jonathan 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 the Skye Bank in anticipation that if it failed to obey the order unfreezing Jonathan’s account.

Upon the submissions of both counsel, Justice Olatoregun granted the withdrawal of both the EFCC’s two applications, and Mrs. Jonathan’s Form 48 and Form 49.

Last year, based on an application filed before the court by EFCC, Justice Olatoregun had ordered that the account of the former first lady ($5,842,316.66) domicile with Skye bank Plc be frozen on the grounds that the money was suspected to be proceeds of crime.

  Also affected by the said order were five limited liability companies that were having a total sum of N7,418,829,290.94 billion and an account belonging to one Esther Oba with sum of $429,381.87.
The companies are: Finchley Top Homes Limited, Aribawa Aruera, Magel Resort Limited, AM-PM Global Network Limited and Pansy Oil and Gas Limited .

 The order of the court which froze 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 EFCC and filed before the court by EFCC prosecutor, Oyedepo.

Tukur had averred that there was urgent need for the court to direct the managers of the bank accounts to in the interim, forfeit the money contain therein to prevent further tampering it.
While Mrs. Jonathan’s money is with Skye Bank, Finchley Top Homes Limited fraudulently opened 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 opened the following accounts 1771731336 with Skye Bank Plc with current balance of N14,173,848.85; 4011019539 domicile with Fidelity Bank with current balance of N1,800,494 billion; account   0016901361 with Stanbic Bank with current balance of N40,594,12.88 and 0019213687 with Diamond Bank Plc with current balance  of N39,418,712.12.
Another limited liability company affected by the order of the court was Aribawa Aruera Reachout Foundation which opened account number 1222014221 domiciled with Ecobank Bank Plc with closing balance of N479,893,431.01.

 Others are Magel Resort Limited which opened account number 4011019546/5250059782 with Fidelity Bank Plc with current balance of N1,000,494,000.
There were other two accounts opened by Magel Resort Limited, 1011744356, domiciled with Zenith Bank with balance of N858,923,982 and 0024351590 domiciled with Diamond bank with balance of N174,166,207.00.
AM-PM Global Network Limited opened account number 0026718889 with Diamond Bank Plc with a balance of N7,213,303.50 billion.

Pagmat Oil and Gas Limited opened account number 4011019577 with Fidelity Bank with a current balance of N1,809,666,494.68 billion, and account number 0026838491 with Diamond Bank Plc with a balance of N55,930,024.50 million.
Esther Oba’s account number 0019213689 with Diamond Bank with a current balance of $429, 381. 87
All the monies were suspected to be proceeds of crime.