Home Business Court un-freezes Patience Jonathan’s account
Business - April 7, 2017

Court un-freezes Patience Jonathan’s account

Patience Jonathan

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday un-freezed a bank account belonging to wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, with over $5,842,316.66 (about N1.7 billion) lodged in it.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun-Ishola froze the account last year with that of five companies and one Esther Oba.

The companies’ accounts were said to have balances amounting to N7.4 billion; Oba’s was said to have $429,381.87 (about  N131,712,634.09).

Justice Olatoregun-Ishola de-freezed the account following an application filed and argued by Mrs. Jonathan’s lawyer, Mr. Adedayo Adedipe (SAN).

The lawyer urged the court to de-freeze the account on the grounds that his client was not a party to the suit.

Citing judicial authorities, Adedipe contended that the suit was an abuse of court process, as the court had no jurisdiction to make an order against a person that was not a party to a suit before it.

EFCC, it was learnt, did not file any response to the application to discharge the order.

Ruling, Justice Olatoregun-Ishola upheld Adedipe’s submission and the order freezing the account.

She made an order directing EFCC and Skye Bank Plc to de-freeze the account because all claims in the plaintiff’s affidavit were not challenged or controverted.

The judge said although EFCC was served with the application to defreeze the account, it filed no response to counter it.

“It is trite in law that an order cannot be made against any person who is not a party before the court. It was not controverted that Dame Patience Jonathan is not a party in the order obtained in this court.

“I hereby make an order unfreezing the Skye Bank account belonging to Dame Patience Jonathan forthwith,” the judge said.

Mrs. Jonathan yesterday also prayed Justice Mohammed Idris of the same court to order the EFCC to release her other accounts to enable her access her $15.591million in them.

Four companies last September 15 pleaded guilty to laundering the money when they were arraigned before Justice Babs Kuewumi of the same court.

Skye Bank, where the money is, Jonathan’s former aide Waripamo-Owei Dudafa and three companies are the other respondents.

Arguing the application yesterday, Adedipe said the EFCC did not comply with the law in freezing the accounts.

He said the commission placed a no-debit order on the accounts before obtaining a court order, adding that EFCC ought to have obtained an order before freezing the account.

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