A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has given an order that an account operated by former first lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, be frozen on the ground that it contains suspected proceeds of crime. The account, domiciled with Skye Bank plc, has a balance of $5,316.66.
Also affected by the order are five companies and one Esther Oba. The companies collectively have balances totaling 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) in six commercial banks, while Esther Obafo has a balance of $429,381.87.
The court order was sequel to a further affidavit in support of Ex-parte originating summons sworn to by Mr. Abdulahi Tukur, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and filed before the court by EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo.
Mr. Tukur averred that there is an 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 in the accounts, to prevent further tampering with such.
The five companies affected are Finchley Top Homes Limited, Aribawa Aruera, Magel Resort Limited, AM -PM Global Network Limited Pansy Oil and Gas Limited.
Finchley Top Homes Limited is alleged to have fraudulently open account number 1102001996 domiciled with Ecobank Plc and has a current balance of N226,376,700.23 and a fixed deposit with a balance of N1,099,511,484.88.
The company also fraudulently opened other accounts. These are account 1771731336, domiciled with Skye Bank and with a current balance of N14,173,848.85; Fidelity Bank account 4011019539 with a current balance of N1,800,494,000; Stanbic Bank account 0016901361 with a current balance of N40,594,12.88; and Diamond Bank account 0019213687 with a current balance of N39,418,712.12.
Aribawa Aruera Reachout Foundation opened account number 1222014221 with Ecobank and has a closing balance of N479,893,431.01, while Magel Resort Limited accounts (4011019546/5250059782) with Fidelity Bank has a subsisting balance of N1,000,494,000.
The company also operates two other accounts (1011744356) in Zenith Bank, which has a balance of N858,923,982, and 0024351590 with Diamond Bank and has a balance of N174,166,207.00.
AM-PM Global Network Limited opened account number 0026718889 at Diamond Bank and has a balance of N7,213,303.50.
The account opened by Pansy Oil and Gas Limited at Fidelity Bank (4011019577) has a current balance of N1,809,666,494.68, while that at Diamond Bank (0026838491) has a balance of N55,930,024.50.
Esther Oba was found to have opened account number 0019213689 with Diamond Bank and has a current balance of $429,381.87.
All the monies are suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Upon the receipt of an intelligence report, the EFCC said it carried out analyses, which showed that the accounts merited being investigated. As such, Mr. Tukur averred that it would serve the course of justice to grant the application for such.
The presiding judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, while granting the order freezing the accounts listed, ordered the anti-graft agency to file an undertaking in relation to damages payable by it if it turns out that the order should not have been made.