Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of a Federal High Court, Lagos, on Wednesday granted a fresh ex-parte application ordering the forfeiture of 5.8 million dollars belonging to a former First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan.
The new order was granted barely 24 hours after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] withdrew its pending application for stay of the court’s judgment which had earlier unfrozen the said account.
In the latest application, EFCC wants the sum forfeited to the Federal Government pending the determination of the motion on notice.
The ruling judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun held that the “Order is granted as prayed”
It could be recalled that a Federal high court in Lagos had on December 26th, 2016 order the freezing multiple accounts suspected to be owned by Dame Patience Jonathan and also suspected to be proceeds of crime.
One of the accounts which bears the former First Lady’s name contains the $5,842,316.66. It is domiciled with Skye Bank.
The court said it should be frozen on the ground that the money is suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Also affected by the said order are the accounts of five companies which are having N7,418,829,290.94 (seven billion four hundred and eighteen million eight hundred and twenty nine thousand two hundred and ninety Naira ninety four kobo).
There were also accounts linked to Esther Oba, with a balance of $429,381.87 in six different commercial banks.
It was not clear the connection between the Esther Oba and Madam Charity Obah, Patience Jonathan’s foster mother who died in 2013.
The order of the court was sequel to a further and better affidavit in support of Ex-parte originating summons sworn to by Abdullahi Tukur and filed before the court by EFCC prosecutor Rotimi Oyedepo Iseoluwa.
Mr Tukur averred that there is urgent need for the court to direct the managers of the bank accounts contained in the schedule filed with the summons FHC/L/CS/1343/16 to, in the interim, forfeit the money contained therein to prevent further tampering with the account being sought to be attached.
The details are as follows:
Dame Patience Jonathan’s money in Skye bank account 2110001712 with current balance of $5,842,316.66 is reasonably suspected to be proceed of crime.
Five companies Finchley Top Homes Limited, Aribawa Aruera,Magel resort Limited, AM -PM Global network Limited Pansy Oil and Gas Limited and Esther Oba are also affected
Finchley Top Homes Limited fraudulently opened account 1102001996 domiciled with ECOBANK PLC with a current balance of N226,376,700.23 and a fixed deposit with balance of N1,099,511,484.88.
Finchley Top Homes Limited also fraudulently opened account 1771731336 domiciled with SKYE Bank PLC with current balance of N14,173,848.85.
The same company also operates account 4011019539 domiciled with Fidelity Bank Plc with current balance of N1,800,494,000.00 and account
0016901361 domiciled with Stanbic Bank Plc with current balance of N40,594,12.88.
It also has account 0019213687 domiciled with Diamond bank Plc with current balance of N39,418,712.12
Another company affected by the order of the court is Aribawa Aruera Reachout Foundation. It opened account 1222014221 domiciled with ECOBANK Bank Plc with closing balance of N479,893,431.01
Others are, Magel Resort Limited with account 4011019546 and 5250059782 domiciled with Fidelity bank Plc with current balance of N1,000,494,000.
There were other two accounts opened by Magel Resort Limited, 1011744356 domiciled with Zenith bank Plc with balance of N858,923,982.00 and 0024351590 domiciled with Diamond bank Plc with balance of N174,166,207.00.
AM-PM Global Network Limited opened account 0026718889 at Diamond bank Plc with balance of N7,213,303.50
Pagmat oil and Gas Limited has account 4011019577 with Fidelity Bank with current balance of N1,809,666,494.68 and account 0026838491 with Diamond bank Plc with balance of N55,930,024.50.
Esther Oba has account 0019213689 with Diamond Skye bank Plc with current balance of $429,381.87 .
All the monies were suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Consequently upon the receipt of intelligent report, EFCC analyzed it and found it to be worthy of investigation.
Therefore, Mr Tukur averred that it will serve the course of justice to grant this application.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun while granting the order freezing the accounts ordered the anti -graft agency to file undertaking as to damages if it turned out that the order was not to have been made.
Patience Jonathan, before today’s order has been battling the EFCC to have the $15million dollar accounts earlier linked to her, unfrozen.