Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Patience Jonathan Urges Court To Unfreeze Her $15.5million Bank Account

Former first lady Patience Jonathan has filed a suit asking the court to reverse a freeze order placed on her account with Skye Bank Plc. The freeze order on the account, which contains $15.5million, was obtained by the EFCC.

Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos had on May 8, ordered the refiling of the suit through writ rather than by originating summons. On Monday, the court granted an application by the former first lady seeking an extension of time within which to reply to the EFCC’s statement of defence.

The judge subsequently fixed January 19, 2018 as the date for commencement of trial. While ordering the refiling of the suit, Justice Idris held that it would not be proper for the plaintiff to commence the suit by way of originating summons since issues surrounding the ownership of the money were largely contentious among parties.

The judge, while noting that oral evidence will be needed to resolve the issue in contention, ordered parties to file their pleadings in line with the Federal High Court rules for trial to commence. The former first lady has accused the anti-graft agency of placing a no debit order on her account containing $15.5 million at Skye bank Plc without a valid court’s order.

Jonathan, in the fundamental rights enforcement suit, is seeking an order to de-freeze the accounts where the money is domiciled. Among the respondents in the suit are the EFCC, Skye Bank, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, an aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan and four companies.

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