Patience Jonathan Begs Court To Unfreeze Accounts With N3.5b, $5.8m
Wife of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience has asked a Federal High Court to lift the temporary freeze issued on 16 accounts allegedly held in banks by her and some firms linked to her.
The accounts, said to contain $5.8million and N3.5 billion, are domicile in Zenith Skye, Eco, Fidelity, Stanbic IBTC and Diamond banks.
According to The Nation, Mrs. Jonathan’s request is contained in a motion she filed before the court, and in which she faulted the method adopted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in obtaining two ex-parte interim freezing orders on the accounts.
She contended that the freezing orders have lapsed and should be vacated having been first made on May 30 this year and renewed on October 10.
Mrs. Jonathan said the accounts were maintained by her, the Incorporated Trustees of her foundation -Ariwabai Aruera Reachout Foundation – and nine other companies in which she has interest.
She argued that the orders of interim forfeiture made on May 30, 2017 including a subsequent one issued on October 10, 2017 have become spent and could no longer be extended, because the original order was obtained through an improper use of court process by the EFCC.
She stated, in the motion filed by her lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) that the Federal High Court in Abuja, on May 30 , 2017 granted an ex-parte order in favour of the of the Federal Government against all the accounts own and operated by her and the companies
She said the same FG later went before the Lagos division of the court, presided over by Justice C.M.A Olatoregun to obtain similar order on October 10 this year in respect of accounts held by her, Finchley Top Homes limited and Ariwabai Aruera Reachout Foundation.
Mrs. Jonathan stated that prior to the grant of the ex -parte motion by the court in Abuja the FGhad 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 added 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 she lodged at the National Assembly.
When the case was called yesterday before Justice Binta Nyako, Osekhome urged the court to first, here his client’s motion before the one filed by the EFCC for the extension of the orders earlier made by the court.
Lawyer to the EFCC, Richard Dauda also insisted that his application should take precedence.
Justice Nyako however, adjourned to November 23.