Court Strikes out EFCC’s Suit Against Patience Jonathan


Davidson Iriekpen

A Federal High Court in Lagos thursday struck out the suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan and six others, seeking to forfeit the sum of $5,842,316. 66, to the federal government.
The money is said to be domiciled in Skye Bank Plc.

The court struck out the suit at the instance of the EFCC, which had applied to court to strike out the suit.

Other beneficiaries of thursday’s ruling are five companies which had a total sums of N7,418,829,290.94 and one Esther Oba, who is said to be having $429,381.87 million.

The companies are: Finchley Top Homes Limited, AM-PM Global Network Limited, Aribawa Arura Reachout Foundation, and Pagmat Oil and Gas Limited and Mabel Resort Limited.

The monies were said to be kept in six different commercial banks.

The court presided by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun had sometime in December 2016, while granting EFCC’s ex parte application filed and argued before the court by counsel to the commission, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, ordered that the account be frozen pending the conclusion of investigation on the money, in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/1342/16, between Federal Republic of Nigeria and Skye Bank Plc and the companies listed above and Esther Oba.

The judge had also ordered the EFCC to file an undertaking as to damages if it turned out that the order was not to have been made.
In urging the court to temporarily freeze the account, the EFCC through one of its investigators, Mr. Abdulahi Tukura, in an affidavit, told the court the former first lady used different companies and individuals to acquire the money.

In the said affidavit, Tukura had averred that Mrs Jonathan’s money in Skye Bank account number 2110001712 with current balance of $5,842,316. 66 million, is reasonably suspected to be proceed of crime.

He stated that all the companies mentioned in the suit have their accounts in four commercial banks, where the monies were kept.
Tukura had stated in the affidavit that upon the receipt of intelligent report on the accounts, his commission analysed it and found it to be worthy of investigation. He therefore, averred that it would serve the course of justice to grant this application.

However, at the resumed hearing of the matter today, lawyer to other respondents, except Skye Bank Plc, Mr. Ige Asemudara, told that court that he was duly informed by the EFCC lawyer, Mr. Mohammed Idris, who was equally in court, that, the anti-graft agency had signified to discontinue the suit, by filing a notice of discontinuance.
Asemudara therefore urged the court to strike out the suit.

His application was granted, and Justice Olatoregun consequently struck out the suit.