Patience Jonathan Asks Court to Unfreeze Her 16 Bank Accounts
Patience Jonathan has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to vacate the interim forfeiture order granted to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to freeze her 16 bank accounts containing sums of $5.8 million and N3.5 billion.
Wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, through lawyers led by I.A. Adedipe (SAN) and Mike Ozekhome (SAN), maintained that the court order had elapsed and could not be extended by the EFCC.
She told the court that the anti-graft agency obtained the forfeiture order by an improper use of the judicial process.
Mrs. Jonathan and ten firms told the court that the said interim forfeiture order had become spent.
In a six-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Chinedu Maduba, Mrs. Jonathan, and the firms admitted their ownership of the 16 bank accounts.
They alleged that EFCC suppressed the fact that it had earlier approached the Lagos division of the court for the same relief it applied for and secured from the court in Abuja.
Mrs. Jonathan said though she was not served a copy of the order that froze her accounts, she only became aware of the existence of the forfeiture order from the court in Abuja few days ago.
She argued that the interim forfeiture order had a life span of 90 days commencing from May 30, insisting that the order had long elapsed without any renewal or extension of its lifespan.
Meantime, in a swift reaction, EFCC, on Thursday also approached the court for an extension of the forfeiture order against funds in the 16 bank accounts.
EFCC lawyer, Richard Dauda, also applied for the extension application to be heard first before the application by Mrs. Jonathan and the firms.
Justice Binta Nyako has fixed November 23 to hear the two applications.
It will also be recalled that Mrs. Jonathan had, on October 19, blocked moves by the EFCC to take over assets belonging to her organization, Ariwabai Aruera Reachout Foundation.