Jonathan begs court to unfreeze 16 bank accounts containing $5.8m, N3.5b

Patience Jonathan

Patience, wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Thursday, asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to vacate the interim forfeiture order granted to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on May 30, to freeze her 16 separate bank accounts containing aggregate sums of $5.8 million and N3.5 billion.

Mrs Jonathan, through her team of lawyers led by Chief I.A. Adedipe, SAN, and Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, maintained that the court order had elapsed and could not be extended by the EFCC .

She told the court that the anti-graft agency obtained the forfeiture order by an improper use of the judicial process.

The 16 frozen bank accounts belong to 10 different organizations allegedly linked to Jonathan.

The companies which were also cited as co-applicants in the motion the ex-first lady filed to challenge the action of the EFCC are Incorporated Trustees of Ariwabai Aruera Reachout Foundation, Pagmat Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, Flinchley Top Homes Limited.

Others were Incorporated Trustees of Women for Change and Development Initiative Nigeria, Transocean Property and Investment Limited, Seagate Property Development Investment Company, Globus Integrated Services and Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited.

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Jonathan and the 10 firms told the court that the said interim forfeiture order, including a subsequent one that was issued on October 18, had become spent.

In a six–paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Chinedu Maduba, Mrs. Jonathan and the firms admitted their ownership of the 16 bank accounts.

The applicants told the court that EFCC had, before May 30 when it secured the forfeiture order, also filed a similar application that affected most of the parties, before Justice C.M.A. Olatoregun of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos in suit number FHC/L/CS/1342/2016 with same granted on October 10.

However, EFCC, countered her application as it prayed the court for an extension of the forfeiture order against funds in the 16 bank accounts.

EFCC lawyer, Mr. Richard Dauda, also applied for the extension application to be heard first before the application by Mrs. Jonathan and the firms.

Justice Binta Nyako has fixed November 23 to hear the two applications.

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