Patience Jonathan Asks Court to Set Aside Order Freezing Accounts

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Alex Enumah in Abuja
Former first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, on Thursday asked the Abuja division of the Federal High Court to set aside the court order granted on May 30, 2017, freezing 16 of her accounts in different banks.
The accounts were said to contain the sum of $5.8million and N3.5 billion.

She predicated her request on the grounds that the said order has expired.
The former first lady also told the court that the orders of interim forfeiture including a subsequent one issued on October 10, 2017, have become spent and cannot be extended.
She argued further that the original order was obtained by an improper use of court process by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).

In a deposition filed in court, Mrs. Jonathan stated that the Incorporated Trustees of Ariwabai Aruera Reachout Foundation; nine other companies and herself were the owners of the funds.
According to her, “That the Federal High Court in Abuja had on May 30, 2017, granted an exparte order in favour of the federal government against all the accounts owned and operated by them the applicants.

“That same federal government later went to Lagos and obtained another order made by Justice C.M.A Olatoregun of the Federal High Court Lagos Division on October 10, 2017, directing the managers of the Skye Bank, Eco Bank, Fidelity Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Zenith Bank, and Diamond Bank to in the interim, freeze and attach the various sums of money in the accounts belonging to Dame Patience Jonathan, Finchley Top Homes limited and Ariwabai Aruera Reachout Foundation.

“That prior to the grant of the ex -parte motion by the court in Abuja the federal government had filed a similar application before Justice Olatoregun of Lagos division but failed to disclose the fact that it had obtained same reliefs in Lagos.”

She claimed that the owners of the money were never served with the interim order and that they became aware of it during a hearing of a petition Jonathan lodged at the National Assembly .
When the matter came up for hearing yesterday before Justice Binta Nyako of the federal high court Abuja both Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and Richard Dauda who announced appearances for Mrs. Jonathan and federal government respectively insisted that their application must be taken first.

Dauda said that the federal government application which is seeking to extend the interim order of forfeiture therefore should be taken while Ozekhome insisted that the applicants motion should come first as it is challenging the order obtained by the federal government in error.
However, the judge has adjourned the matter to November 23, 2017.