court
Ex-First Lady Patience Jonathan

By Andah John with agency report

A Federal High Court in Lagos has frozen several accounts in five Nigerian banks allegedly owned by former first lady Patience Jonathan over alleged money laundering.

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The order blankets Mrs Jonathan’s accounts in Ecobank Plc, Skye Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Diamond Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun made the order freezing the accounts. She did that after listening to an exparte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In the suit, the anti-graft agency said the move to request the freezing of the accounts became necessary as it had received intelligence report. The report, according to the agency, showed that the accounts ought to be investigated.

Then, the ex-parte application to freeze the accounts was backed by originating summons sworn to by one Abdulahi Tukur, an operative of EFCC, and filed before the court by the EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo.

It was gathered that the EFCC requested the court to urgently direct the managers of the bank accounts to, in the interim, forfeit the money in the accounts, to prevent further tampering with same.

Thereafter,  Justice Olatoregun, who had issued the order, directed the commission to enter into an undertaking to pay damages to the former first lady if it turns out that the order should not have been made.

One of the accounts, domiciled with Skye Bank plc, is said to have a balance of $5,316.66.

Also affected by the order are five companies namely; Finchley Top Homes Limited, Aribawa Aruera, Magel Resort Limited, AM-PM Global Network Limited and Pansy Oil and Gas Limited.